No matter how old you are, learning never has to stop. The fun thing about life is that you can always pick up a new talent, skill or hobby. As a student, you may feel like learning is just academic. However, if you are feeling curious to learn something new, there are many things to pick up that can help you in both school and in life.
Not sure where to start? If you’re feeling like your curiosity is at an all time high, take a peek at some of the below skills and hobbies you can learn.
Why not get started today?
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10 Useful Skills to Learn
Depending on your preferences, here are a few ideas that you can learn with people or alone at home (thanks to technology):
Meditation is a great hobby and useful skill to master. Meditation is the art of paying attention to your breath. Although it’s easy to let thoughts in, you can practice to let them go.
A lot of people start meditating and feel discouraged because they cannot clear their mind. But that’s not actually the goal. The goal is to be able to find your way back to your breath.
A few simple tricks to help hone the skill of meditation is to: use an application, listen to a guided video, and start small. Start with a few minutes a day, for example, just 5 minutes. Try doing it every day for a week, and then increase your time to 10 minutes, and so on. Meditating helps to relieve stress, improve focus, and remain in the present.
2. New Language
Learning a new language is not an easy undertaking, but it is most definitely a great resource. How do you pick a language to learn? Well, you can be very strategic and choose common languages that many people speak around the world like Spanish or French. You could also choose a language that you’re interested in speaking just for fun.
There are resources like Duolingo, which gamifies the process of learning a language. Try to watch shows and videos in the language you’re learning with subtitles to pick up on pronunciation.
Whether you want to make money off of it or just know the skill yourself, coding is a growing field. If you learn to code, you can write websites, create applications, produce games, make robots, etc.
There are many different coding languages to choose from and a variety of online resources. From online Computer Science programs that grant degrees, to free websites and YouTube tutorials, anyone can pick up the skill with time and dedication.
It’s true, anyone can take a photo. But not everyone is a great photographer! Learning the skills behind perspective, the rule of thirds, composition, color, editing, and the technical aspects of photography can change how you see through a lens.
The art of photography is something you can always improve. It will help you to see the world in a new way, as well as capture memories for your own keepsakes. Plus, there are many mobile apps that allow you to edit your photos for free, such as VSCO.
5. Personal Finance
When it comes to money, many people stress out. However, when you know how to manage your personal finances, you can be in a better position to save, invest, and make your money work for you. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, you can learn how to manage your money with several resources.
Online resources like Udemy have a free personal finance tutorial where you can learn how to manage debt and student loans, buy a car, buy a house, invest wisely, and more. You can also read books, attend courses, or find a mentor within the field to share some knowledge.
Cooking is not only meditative, but it also offers health benefits and can even save you money. Since many students move away for college, it may be the first time that they have to cook for themselves. At this point in time, cooking becomes a useful skill to hone for both yourself and to be able to entertain friends. There’s some truth in gaining the “Freshman 15,” so being able to cook healthy meals can help prevent unhealthy food choices at the school’s cafeteria.
From watching cooking shows on TV and Netflix, YouTube tutorials, and Googling recipes, learning how to cook is both fun and incredibly useful. Plus, it’s an art more than a science. So get creative and try something new!
7. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a broad field that entails graphic design, copywriting, websites, content creation, and more. It is a vertical that aims to connect customers to brands and communicate stories and business’ value propositions. Not only can digital marketing help pay the bills and provide for remote work opportunities, but it is also a field that is constantly evolving. As such, you can start to learn by having an open mind and focusing on the aspects that interest you most.
Digital marketing courses are available and can be taken as an extracurricular for those who are enrolled in college and already earning a degree. Or you can get started while in high school and perhaps even find your career path!
Sports are something you can pick up at any age. Depending on what you are interested in, you can pick a team sport like basketball or soccer or play an individual sport like golf. Naturally, you have to have some resources to play most competitive sports. On the other hand, you can choose a sport like yoga, which is something you can do in the comfort of your own home with the aid of apps or videos.
Playing a sport is a great way to meet new people. It also teaches perseverance, competition, and can showcase how hard work pays off to reap benefits. Furthermore, you will be keeping your heart healthy and your mind happy.
9. An Instrument
Whether you’ve thought about it before, already play an instrument, or this is a new idea, learning an instrument is like opening up a new world. Learning how to play an instrument is similar in many ways to learning a new language. It involves practice and diligence, as well as perseverance through the challenging moments. There are so many different types of instruments you can play, from string instruments to the drums or a tambourine to the flute.
Regardless of what you want to pick up, it could be useful to begin by understanding a little bit about music theory. For that, here’s an online book that offers some insight.
10. Martial Arts
Martial arts covers a broad range of practices, including: Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Karate, Krav Maga, and more. You can either go to classes to learn or hone the skills from your home with tutorials. People in the field suggest that Jiu-Jitsu is great to start with, if you have a partner. If you are learning solo, try Muay Thai.
Like learning any new sport, you will have to practice to make perfect. Hopefully, learning martial arts will not result in having to use it for defense, but it is always a good skill to have.
While a new hobby doesn’t have to be directly useful or geared towards making money, most of them end up serving a purpose and helping with personal growth. From learning a new instrument to playing a sport, you can spend your time wisely and also likely meet new friends along the way.
Regardless of your age, the most important things to remember when you are learning a new skill is to remain open minded. It’s also good to not be so hard on yourself and to have patience. After all, you should be enjoying the process as you go through the journey of learning a new hobby or skill. Have fun!