University, exams, and all the events you’ve been looking forward to for months have been cancelled – all because of the coronavirus.
Now you’re in isolation… and you’ve never been so bored.
Lucky for you, we live in an era of opportunity and technology, so as long as you know where to look: you could actually turn this into the best extended summer you’ve ever had.
If you’re struggling to make the most of all this free time, we’ve got you covered.
Here are our top 10 tips for students to keep busy during quarantine.
1. Learn a new skill
University might be closed for the summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop learning.
One of our quarantine tips and tricks for students is to join an online course so you can learn something you’ve always wanted to (but just never had the time).
With FutureLearn, Udemy and Udacity, you can sign up for free or affordable courses that only need 2 or 3 hours of commitment a week.
These are the kind of courses you can join:
- The Power of Podcasting for Storytelling
- A History of Royal Fashion
- The Ultimate Drawing Course
- Social Media Marketing Mastery
- How To Remember Everything
- The Science of Well-Being
There are literally thousands more options, so go and have a browse and pick a new skill to master.
2. Find remote working opportunities
We’re lucky to be in 2020; a year when remote working opportunities are more available than ever.
If you’re going stir crazy staring at walls, why not find a job you can do from the comfort of your own home?
A lot of the time, all you need is a laptop and internet connection.
Create a profile on PeoplePerHour or Upwork so people can hire you as:
- A graphic designer (if you’re a talented designer)
- An admin assistant (if you’re particularly organised)
- A social media manager (if you love everything social)
- Or even an English language tutor
If you want more than just a side gig, you could start an online business. And if you’re stuck for ideas, read our ‘Starting a Business at University’ blog post here.
3. Work on your CV
Remember that CV rewrite you’ve been avoiding forever?
Now’s the time to crack open your computer and Get. It. Done
4. Make a budget and start saving
One of the very few benefits of (almost) everywhere being closed, is that you’ll start saving money without even meaning to.
The gym has (most likely) frozen your account, you’re no longer spending £40 a week on Starbucks or Costa, and you’ve started cooking more.
You spending less money during quarantine may be unintentional, but you can be intentional about saving that money.
While you have time, do a deep dive into your finances and create a new budget that takes quarantine spending (or lack of spending) into consideration.
You could even open a separate bank account that you put spare change into, so when quarantine is over you have some extra money to keep you going.
In a few months’ time, you’ll be thankful you did it.
5. Catch up on your TRL (to read list)
If you’re a big reader, take this extra time to catch up on all those unread books on your bookshelf or Kindle.
And if you need some new recommendations, maybe you could do a reading challenge or work through a reading list?
Here are some of our favourites:
- The Penguin Reading Challenge 2020
- The Guardian’s Dystopian Reading List
- Goodread’s 2020 Popular Reading Challenge Books
6. Get hooked on a podcast
If you’re not already a podcast addict, you’ve been missing out.
Podcasts are the ultimate productivity boosters, because you can listen to them while doing anything.
Need to do a spring clean? Listen to a podcast.
Need to exercise? Listen to a podcast.
Need to cook dinner? Listen to a podcast.
In 2019, there were 750,000 podcasts to choose from (which means there are even more now).
So whether you’re into fiction, self-development, productivity, or comedy, there’s something for everyone.
7. Have a Netflix Party
Instead of binge-watching Netflix all alone in your bedroom, why not binge-watch Netflix with your friends?
Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that lets you and your friends synchronise Netflix so you can watch the same thing at the same time. You can even use the chatbox to message each other. And if you’re feeling extra isolated, use Zoom or Skype to video call so you can talk.
Add a pizza to the mix and you’ve basically got yourself a fun night out - minus having to get dressed, go outside, or waste money on public transport.
8. Get fit
It’s really easy to stay indoors and do nothing during quarantine, but in many countries (including here in the UK), exercise is still allowed.
That’s because moving your body is key to ensuring your physical and mental wellbeing.
You could do online yoga or online fitness classes; you could run around your block or you could even go for a daily walk.
Whatever you decide to do, making time for exercise will help you and other students in coronavirus quarantine get through this difficult time.
9. Adult colouring
One of our favourite activities for students in coronavirus quarantine is a fun one you’ve probably not done since you were a child: adult colouring!
You heard us: colouring books designed specifically for adults.
According to research, this activity reduces stress and anxiety, and it improves your sleep, focus and motor skills.
There are so many different themes to choose from, ranging from Harry Potter to animals, and motivational quotes to floral designs.
Once you start colouring, you’ll never go back.
10. Zoom parties
It’s important for you to stay in touch with family and friends so you don’t start feeling the negative effects of self-isolation on your mental wellbeing.
A fun way to do this is to have Zoom parties with your loved ones. Once you’re all inside the same Zoom room, you can have a private video call with as many people as you like.
All you need to do is create an account on Zoom, and then send the link to the people you’d like to invite to the Zoom party.
You’ll get an instant boost of happiness from spending time with people you miss, and since Zoom is free, it won’t cost you a thing.