Tired of Zooming (*snoozing*) through your lectures? Try learning something else instead

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A photo of a student frustrated by an online lecture. Online classes can be boring and frustrating, but not all of them are like that.  Photo by     Oladimeji Ajegbile     from     Pexels

A photo of a student frustrated by an online lecture. Online classes can be boring and frustrating, but not all of them are like that. Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

The title says it all, and I’m here to introduce some free, totally fun online classes that will help grow either your mind, your resume or develop a new skill that you’ve always wanted to learn.

As a creator, I found that during the semester, I didn’t make time for personal projects in terms of photography or designing. There would always be times that I fumbled around in Adobe Photoshop or InDesign, doing quick Google searches to find out what I needed. Those were the items that I wish I had just another hour in the day to sit-down and just really learn the ins and outs of the program.

Another scenario comes to mind: I’m at the gym, doing the same workout for the fifth time in a row that week, wishing that I could change up my routine or had time to pour through online workouts to develop a routine that worked for me. 

There’s a lot more instances in my life that would benefit from truly sitting down, and taking a precious hour or two to learn and practice a new skill. Thankfully, many business and social platforms are giving users access to free online learning across the board during this time that we should all be inside and social distancing.

Here is a list of online classes that I have bookmarked on my laptop to try over the next few weeks. It’ll definitely be a nice break from all the online academic courses.

For the most part, all of these programs are absolutely free or have a long-term free window before you have to start paying a monthly or yearly installment. Wake up, put on a change of clothes and get to learning something you’ve always wanted to learn!


A photo of a woman writing a book. Taking an online masterclass is a great way to learn about the writing process.  Photo by    Hannah Olinger    on    Unsplash

A photo of a woman writing a book. Taking an online masterclass is a great way to learn about the writing process. Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

For my writers and future teachers

I stumbled across this website called authorfy.com. They have a wide range of masterclasses with a wide range of teachers and books to read and teach in a classroom. The best part? These teachers are actually the authors of the books themselves. These writing wizards go through the book itself and the writing process, have ideas for lesson plans and downloads are also available as supplemental material. The only financial investment is buying the book itself, which we should all be doing anyway to support our authors. What I really like about this site is the diversity in the authors and the stories being presented.

For someone in the pursuit of happiness

What’s even more popular than Steve Aoki’s remix of this song? A course on “The Science of Well Being” that has been popularized as the “happiness” course enthusiastically by students at Yale University and beyond. The course went online for free about two years ago and is available via Coursera, according to CNN.  “We’re in a particularly challenging time not just for this health crisis, this physical health crisis, but also a potential mental health crisis as well,” course creator Laurie Santos, a Yale psychology professor, told CNN. As a psychology student, I’m curious to what I’ll learn in this course when I sign-up, but as someone who’s constantly looking for an endless sense of optimism, this is the course that I’m keen to learn from.

For my creators

Ever want to just throw your laptop out the window when Adobe Premiere doesn’t do what it wants you to do? Or you want to design something cool that you saw on a travel lust video on YouTube but don’t know how? Skillshare is now offering all their courses for the first two months free, with the ability to cancel at any time. There are a wide range of creative design courses to take in creative writing, animation, graphic design and music to name a few. I’ve already bookmarked the photography and film & video courses. Bonus: A lot of creators on YouTube are also sharing their secrets and skills as we’re all cooped up inside. Definitely take advantage of what your favorite creator has to share as they too seek to be creative while staying indoors.

For my influencers

Brit+Co is a media company that, “inspires, educates and entertains real women with a creative spirit,” according to their about page. I’ve only known them for their inspiring and chic Instagram layout. Now, they are offering all their classes for free until the end of this month. These classes can be done in a day and are wide in terms of flexing the creative side of your brain. I’m personally looking forward to starting the course on “Text Effects in Adobe Illustrator” to switch up my Instagram presence and create some beautiful quote squares. 

For my gym fiends 

Or really anyone who’s looking to move. There are so many influencers and trainers who have been posting their workouts online, specifically on Instagram, for free. It can all be overwhelming in terms of what’s out there, but these are the ones that I trust the most. If you don’t want to commit to developing or following a workout on your own, you can tune in to certain channels that do workouts live so you won’t be on your own, such as Dog Pound. This gym has a celeb studded membership and has recently taken to posting daily workouts on their feed to follow along. One of my other favorite online ladies to take work out tips from is Whitney Simmons. I like the way she breaks up her workouts specifically. One post is dedicated to arms, another to legs and so on. Casey Ho is an Asian American fitness queen who also posts monthly workout calendars on her website if you want more structure.

For the most part, all of these programs are absolutely free or have a long-term free window before you have to start paying a monthly or yearly installment. Wake up, put on a change of clothes, maybe get a friend or two and get to learning something you’ve always wanted to learn!


Kimberly Nguyen is the associate digital editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.nguyen@uconn.edu.

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