Student life for the university intake of 2020 might look a little bit different to previous years – with pubs and bars operating with stricter curfews and restrictions on how many people can gather and where. However, the limitless potential of studying for an undergrad degree, postgrad degree or even a doctorate means it’s still a great time to attend university.
If your personal calendar is a little emptier due to lockdown, now is the perfect time to build your portfolio of skills and really flesh out your CV. There are many ways you can upskill yourself without even leaving the comfort of your university residence – skills that will help you during your course and as you venture out into the working world.
Here, we’re offering up a selection of things you can do to upskill yourself while you’re at home.
From LinkedIn Learning and FutureLearn to Coursera and Skillshare, there are a whole host of online resources dedicated to learning new things. And with courses on just about everything you could possibly think of, they’re the perfect way to make the hours go by during the long days of lockdown.
Whether it’s learning how to use Photoshop or getting to grips with coding, the plethora of knowledge at your fingertips is truly impressive. There are even courses that offer university-accredited qualifications at the end, which is an undeniably good look on a CV. Think about it: any job applicant who used these unprecedented times to boost their knowledge will be hugely attractive to employers after they’ve graduated.
If you’re coming to the end of your undergraduate degree or you’re a post-grad, then you may have been planning on attending networking or careers events to hit the ground running when you enter the world of work. However, since those kinds of events aren’t really an option right now, the next best thing would be to boost your presence online.
LinkedIn can be a vital tool when it comes to achieving similar benefits from face-to-face networking. During your time at home, create a LinkedIn page and optimise every aspect of your personal profile, going into real detail about your work experience. Be sure to build up your network of connections too, reaching out to employers about potential opportunities, specifically HR or hiring managers, to learn more about companies or industries.
2020 has been a difficult time for everyone, and it’s been easy to let this unprecedented period get on top of us. Self-care is important to practise at the best of times, but even more so during what’s been a very trying year. If you don’t feel like you can commit to online learning right now, then that’s OK. There are a variety of apps out there that can keep the mind sharp and focused during this time.
Designed to help control emotions and improve cognitive function, Happify is an app that’s seemingly tailor-made for times like this. Developed by leading scientists and experts who’ve studied positive psychology, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapies for decades, Happify uses science-based tasks and methods to improve your mental health and well-being.
Elsewhere, if you fancy giving your brain a further workout, then Lumosity provides daily exercises for the mind through science-validated tasks that improve memory attention and problem-solving.
Another good look for the CV, volunteering can be a great use of your time especially if you’ve been furloughed from your part-time job or you’re struggling to find employment elsewhere. Through volunteering, you can provide vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes and the community during this period of free time. And the benefits are perhaps bigger than you think; helping you to develop your transferable skills, connect with your community, and make new friends along the way.
You could even try volunteering alongside some of the other things on this list; even the smallest commitment can have a huge benefit for both you and the organisation you’re helping.
Freelancing is great for getting your foot in the door after graduating, and the pay can be pretty decent too. And during this time where working from home is the new normal, the idea of getting out of bed, grabbing your laptop and starting work sounds pretty great too, right?
From writing articles and offering your translation skills to graphic design and programming, there are all sorts of things you can get started freelancing in, and with flexible working hours, a good work-life balance and control over your workload, it’s something you can easily continue to do when your studies start up again.
If you’re looking for a student living experience that offers more, head over to the NIDO STUDENT SITE to see what properties are nearby or drop us a line on 0207 1000 100 for more information on our student residences.