Are you sure that you chose the right major or career path? Do you ever wonder if you use all your skills and traits correctly and to their fullest? Wonder no more. Life can be so easy. All you need to do is take a test, answer a few questions and the results will tell you how to live your life, pick a career and choose hobbies that will fit your abilities. Your brain will (literally) tell you: We all use one side of our brain more than the other. Left-sided brains are mathematical, precise, they like to plan, prefer logical and rational ways of thinking. Right-sided brains on the other side are more impulsive, emotional, creative and artistic. People with left-sided brains like to read sitting up while their dogs sleep next to them. People with right-sided brains usually lay down when they read and have cats purring on their laps.
There are numerous books and tests that will tell you which brain team you’re playing for and how to have a fulfilled life and career. Every activity belongs into a little drawer; it’s so simple and explains every bad grade you ever got. It explains who you are, what you do and why.
Let’s stop right here: It’s all nonsense.
I am not saying that because I got different results when taking several tests and I feel lost and confused. No, neuroscientists actually agree with me. Or actually, I agree with them. If you want to sound sophisticated at parties and water cooler conversations, here’s a sentence to memorize: Left/ right brain dichotomy is total nonsense.
We might be left or right handed but we are neither left nor right brained. Our brain does not work like that and even though certain areas in our brain are specialized for specific functions, such as speech for example, the whole brain is involved when we do and think. All the information we consciously and subconsciously take in is processed in both hemispheres. No side is bigger or stronger.
If you feel that you don’t have a “math brain” or writing papers gives you a headache, you might just have to change your learning strategy, ask for help from a tutor, your professor or a fellow student. Telling yourself that your brain is not made for a certain subject or way of thinking might prevent you from gaining valuable experience, knowledge and skills.
So there’s only good news: You can love math and be creative; fill your planner, make lists and listen to loud rock music when you study. You can love cats and dogs. And rabbits. You can do everything that makes you happy and without worrying to pick a side.
It’s not black or white, left or right. The brain relies on teamwork; on fascinating and complex teamwork.
Isabelle Mitchell is from Switzerland (not Sweden). She loves coffee and chocolate and she can talk about movies and the weather for a very long time. Isabelle went to Film School in Denmark and Canada and is a Sound Designer, but she’s currently working on getting her BS in Advertising at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (Online Division). She’s planning on slowly taking over the advertising world one tagline at a time. When she’s not doing homework or studying, she works as a Marketing Assistant. You can find her on Twitter @isabellesagt or if you have a longer attention span, her blog.