I remember complaining about not having enough time to learn something new, gaining new skills or doing something special for our family. Now, we are in the middle of a long social distancing vacation. However, now, many of us are struggling to keep a balanced and productive life. 

I have jotted-down 10 things that we can do, especially as students, to make our stay at home productive. 

1. Online research

Maybe you are planning to apply to a foreign university for a degree purpose/fellowship later in the fall. Now can be a good time to browse through the university’s website to acquaint yourself with the eligibility criteria and relevant details. 

Suppose you want to research something on Physics. Try to communicate by emailing a professor at MIT in the United States! Because most of the researchers and professionals around the world are working online from home, meaning most of them are active online and you can expect a quick response from them.

Tahira has summarized 11 points on why you should choose the UK for higher studies. Click here!

Also, if you want to get involved in a particular profession or begin your own startup, you have ample time to research now.

2. Reading books

You can finally dust off of the books at your shelf and begin reading them now. Also, there are several mobile apps for reading books for free. Such as Nook, Google Play Books, Wattpad, Goodreads, iBooks, etc. And if you feel, reading consumes too much of your time, why not benefit from the audio books? There are plenty of them available. Those  who were thinking of writing a book, why procrastinate? Start today. 

3. Skill development

To thrive in this century, you must keep your competitive edge alive by enhancing your 21st century skills. You can easily adapt these skills either through unstructured tutoring (e.g. YouTube) or in structured fashion, such as Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, and Khan Academy. They are just a click away.

Most of the courses are free of charge and teachers from renowned universities such as Harvard, Cornell, Cambridge, Oxford—to name a few—take classes online. 

4. Start learning a new language

Knowing a different language is good for everyone. Why? Because it helps activate new areas of your brain responsible for long-term memory. When someone knows more than one language, s/he feels very confident about travelling abroad and connecting with new people. Moreover, your job horizon can also enhance as you learn a new language. There are plenty of apps to learn a language free of cost, such as Duolingo and Memrise.

5. Update your resume

If the above were not compelling enough for you, start with fixing your resume. If  you haven’t opened a professional LinkedIn account, start it today. And, if you already have an account, learn how to make it more appealing.

6. Engage in online volunteerism or teaching

Since many of us are stuck in homes, we can use this time to help others. You can easily take subject-based classes in your village or remote areas through video or audio calls. Thus, others get benefited from your knowledge and expertise. Moreover, you can also be involved with UN online volunteer activities. This experience will keep you ahead of others.

7. Participate in online competitions or conferences  

Now-a-days, students are very incentivized to take part in competitions. Now there are multiple online essays, contests, start-up competitions, and even youth competitions. You can find all these  in one platform, through Youth Opportunity’s mobile app or youthop.com.

8. Start online internship  

I was amazed to know that students residing in Hong Kong started approaching international organizations to pursue international online internships for themselves during this quarantine period. Recruiters consider internships to be an essential part of work experience. Hence, why not you? 

Start exploring online internships–paid or voluntary.

9. Maintain your fitness

During this lockdown, visiting the gym is like throwing yourself at a whale. You can maintain your health by doing some basic push ups, squats, playing badminton, etc. You will find many tutorials of physical exercise on YouTube. 

10. Watching TED Talks

TED Talk is a great platform to quench your thirst for new knowledge and learn how new ideas are presented to the whole world in less than 18 minutes.

My colleague Nafisa has compiled top 10 TED talks just for you. Click here!

Keep yourself safe, keep others safe.

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