For those of us who are lucky to just be bored at home, there’s no better time to try learn new things than our present moment. You can take up cross-stitch, work on your French or start that novel you’ve always talked about. And, with companies being more generous than ever during this period, there are tons of resources for you to benefit from. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Go Back To (An Elite) School
Did you know that there are 450 courses from Ivy League universities that you can take for free online right now? Free Code Camp has been assembling a long list of courses that span multiple disciplines, from Data Science and Business to Personal Development and Art. They’re all Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and they allow you to take university-created online classes through providers such as Coursera or Udacity.
So that class you missed out your first time going to college? Now would be the time to go back and really enjoy it.
2. Visit A World-Class Museum
Being stuck at home doesn’t mean that you can’t still get your dose of culture and art history. There are dozens of museums all over the globe that offer virtual tours of their collections, as well as supplemental educational material like audio tours and interviews.
You can visit the London National Gallery, the Guggenheim in New York, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam — even The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul. And that’s just to name a few!
3. Start Learning A New Language
Maybe you’re a long-time admirer of Italian, or you love French culture, or you’d like to get closer to your roots by studying German, or you just want to brush up on the Spanish you forgot from school. Whatever language has caught your eye, now is the perfect time to start learning.
At Babbel Magazine, we’re a bit biased towards using our own Babbel app (we’ve also been proven by multiple universities to get you speaking!). Also, if you’re a student negatively affected by school closures, we’re giving away free Babbel access to both our global and American audiences.
4. Or Start Teaching English
Have you always dreamed of living abroad? One of the best ways to make that happen is by becoming an English teacher — but you’ll first need a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification. Luckily, there are many online certification courses, and most of them take 120 hours to complete. That’s means now’s the perfect time to start tackling this content.
To be clear, TEFL is a challenging qualification. There are a lot of assignments and tests to complete, but it’s a great way to keep your brain busy and get a life-changing qualification to boot.
5. Discover Masterclass
Masterclass is an online learning platform that invites professionals from all sectors to share advice and guidance on their industry. For example, Anna Wintour teaches creative leadership, Neil Gaiman teaches storytelling and RuPaul teaches self-expression and authenticity. There are also courses on interior design, Mexican cooking, negotiating and filmmaking, just to name a few. Now those are some serious new skills!
(And if you’re particularly interested in upping your writing skills, New York Post just significantly reduced the price of their Masterclass courses.)
6. Learn The Art Of Meditation
Compared to some of the other skills on this list, meditation can seem a little… underwhelming. But training the mind takes practice, and meditation is a great skill to have in an anxiety-inducing time. Like all the other skills on this list, it’s something that needs to be built and developed over time.
Apps like Insight Timer, Headspace and Calm are built to teach you the art of meditation, and they’re offering COVID-19 specific courses to help people deal with stress and anxiety during this period. No one will be left unaffected, but being able to cope emotionally is key to getting through it.
7. Pick Up Some Music Skills
Do you have a guitar lying around that’s just collecting dust? Or an old drum kit you haven’t used in years? What about that piano in the corner or the ukulele you bought your dad last Christmas? Now’s the time to get those musical juices flowing.
There are tons of online tutorials on YouTube and many apps that can help you hone your skills. Yousician is an app that provides video tutorials to learn piano, guitar, bass and ukulele. There are other apps that specialize in one area, like Flowkey for piano, or SingTrue for vocals. Whatever instrument you have lying around, there are definitely resources out there for you to improve your skills.
8. Get Creative
Online arts and crafts platform Brit.Co is offering all of their classes for free for two weeks. Here you can learn tons of useful (and fun) skills such as Photoshop for bloggers, cake decorating, iPhone photography and even calligraphy. When was the last time you lost yourself in an evening of arts and crafts, anyway?