Since it’s the summer holidays, everyone has quite a bit of time. My previous articles mentioned how we can use this time to hone new skills or improve our current ones to turn them into side hustles. However, for those uninterested in that and are interested in learning something new purely for enrichment, this article is for you.
A lot of my previous articles are very specific or revolve around university life, what studying philosophy is like, and the like. However, I know that this time is also integral for us students as we have the chance to explore and study other things purely for our interest and enrichment. Hence, I would like to share five different platforms I use for my learning and enrichment on things that help me expand my knowledge beyond what I learn in the classroom.
I feel like this is the obvious choice. YouTube has a lot of informational videos ranging across different genres. There are different videos you could watch that help you out through tutorials on different things like drawing, how to use platforms like Adobe Photoshop or even how to start producing music. Moreover, there are videos providing reviews on different platforms, so you can heed their reviews and advice before paying for the newest software which may not suit your style.
I believe that people often have the misconception that YouTube is where someone watches vlogs or tea channels that talk about the latest influencer drama – topics that are often more unserious and laid back since we are watching videos about someone else’s life.
However, for those interested in Current Affairs, History, Mythology, etc., YouTube could be a great source for enrichment. Many channels actually do deep dives into different topics like these. If you’re not the type to watch a 3-hour documentary on something, YouTube also provides shorter, more bite-sized videos ranging from 30 seconds on YouTube shorts to shorter 5-to-10-minute videos that summarise these different topics.
Some of my favourite channels to watch whenever I am in the mood to learn something new are 1) The Life Guide which is for more deep-dive 3-hour videos on topics like Greek Mythology or even War History and 2) Art Deco or 3) Great Art Explained which provide more bite-sized information on art history. I’m sure we all remember taking art in secondary school and having a written test where we talked about the medium used and our interpretation of the artwork. The last YouTube channel does something similar but provides more context on the painting in under 10 minutes.
Another popular series is Watcher’s Puppet History. It provides a more creative and comedic approach to learning, and I believe it is very engaging for people of different ages and backgrounds. Moreover, since it’s more light-hearted than the previous two channels mentioned, people can also enjoy it as entertainment while learning something new.
2. Learning Platforms and Software
Another source is platforms such as Coursera, EdX, Code.org, to name a few. For those that are more interested in academic enrichment, these platforms would be great to use. There are so many different courses that people could sign up for and learn from. What’s great about these sites is that while you may need to pay to obtain certification, much of the content is free. Hence, you are still able to learn without paying for the certificate.
Fortunately, there are some courses which are sponsored by your university. Hence, you can obtain certification for your enrichment or even use as an MOOC if your school allows it. Moreover, if your school does not sponsor the course you want, EdX has financial assistance where anyone can apply for a 90% discount on the certification for your course of choice. The application is simple, where you justify the reason for needing the discount, and once approved, you will receive a discount code that you can use when you pay for the certificate.
This might be more niche, but for those interested in producing music or podcasts and the like, I recommend Audacity and SoundTrap as starter software. I was introduced to these platforms during music class in secondary school, and an outside music production class I took. Let’s just say music production is not my strong suit… However, I found these platforms to be very beginner friendly, and there are probably tutorials online that you can search for on either Google or YouTube to kickstart your learning.
This is a very cliché recommendation, but I won’t recommend typical self-help books or business insight books like the ones Mark Manson or Robert Kiyosaki writes. Although, I must admit ‘The Business of the 21st Century” by Robert Kiyosaki was quite an interesting read, and surprisingly very relevant to Covid times.
However, I would recommend reading books by Hermann Hesse, such as ‘Demian’ and ‘Steppenwolf.’ While these two novels are rooted in fiction, I find that their introspective writing styles had influenced me after having read them. Everything we are exposed to influences us in different ways. However, these novels have provided me with new insights and perspectives on life, and I believe that it has been relevant and beneficial to me in my growing years. For example, Demian is a novel where the titular character navigates his identity, growing up, and the world around him. It is also a fairly short read, so it is great for those with busy schedules that find it hard to make time to commit to reading 300 pages.
While academic enrichment is important, I hope that this article has introduced you to new platforms where you can pursue and cultivate new knowledge and hobbies!
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