A How-To On Upskilling While Staying At Home (The 2020 Version)
Wheels. The primitive miracle that changed the world and keeps it spinning even at this moment, right as you read. For sure, in all its materialistic glory, wheels have made our evolution from the past to present as smooth as honey; and most likely that we will be on a wheel as we voyage into our splendid future too.
The Wonder Wheels
So, why glorify this ‘wheel’ without so much of a context? Is it because, undoubtedly, almost all our items perceptually work on a wheel of some sort? Is it because this wonder-invention has changed our due course of history and contributed to the evolution of man? The answer could be all that, but for now, I’ll stick to my star objective of metaphorizing a ‘wheel’ as the basis of all human action. By that, I not only indicate to what happens around us, but also to what goes on within us. For starters, I am not going to get all sciency on this topic, but rather very pointedly say that our brains too have wheels. Though microscopically not proven (or shall I say ‘not proven, YET’), I’m hoping that lots agree with the literal creativity behind our ‘minds having wheels’.
There is indeed nothing like waking up to a lazy Saturday, sun blinding into uninviting eyes and experiencing the conjectural feel of having the wheels in the brain hesitantly turn to start the new day. More so during these quarantine times, than ever. As I write this, I can almost ‘feel’ the action happening in my brain, the reality of ‘knowing something when you least need it’ playing its part true. And when the wheels take too long to turn and work productively, I would only term it as this, and only this indeed – ‘Brain Rust’.
Breaking Out of Brain-Rust and Subsequent Skill Development
Huddling at home, a comfy pillow to coddle up to can make anyone’s brain ‘rusted’. Other suitable words for the same could be the feeling of boredom, lack-of-spark, wastedness and much more. It has become inevitable, at least for people like me, to not sit at a place for an hour or so and embody the meaning of ‘excessive, but pointless thinking’. Literally.
Let me allow you to give me the benefit of the doubt as I now deem myself capable enough to say that the wheels do not necessarily have to stop working and rust up during these doubtful times. In fact, the restrictions that have socially been placed, do not have to restrict your mind. It must not, really.
And with those words leading me to another, let me interest you- dear readers, in ‘A How-To on Upskilling While Staying At Home – The 2020 Version’. In this self-written and self-proclaimed ‘effective’ piece, I project my very humble and honest views on upskilling amidst these COVID-19 times.
What you first need, for anything to start with, is a fresh mindset and an open approach. Now, this does not mean that you wake up with a smile as the sun falls on your face, with a fist pumping the air and cheerfulness sparking within you. Hah, now that was easier said than done. A mindset takes a little time and patience to build, but if I could do it, I am positive that anyone can. You need to keep yourself open to any and all opportunities that come your way.
If the pandemic has taught me anything (a lot of things in fact), one important thing would be to never turn down opportunities that have potential for personal growth. There are a lot of things that may help in various ways than are suspected of it out there, and hanging on to them should ultimately make you a successful survivor of these grey times. However, a novice is always best recommended to start off with activities that relate to the likings of their heart. This will surely help you get back on track to start skilling up. But sooner or later, you should find yourself a pioneering daredevil of today’s world, set out to explore things out of your comfort zone!
The World Beyond: Exploring Opportunities are the Gateways to Skill Development
What was once out of your shell will soon find its place inside your territory, thereby expanding your horizons and levels of versatility. As obvious as it is, the best way to keep yourself out of boredom and prevent brain-rust is to immerse yourself with the marvelous opportunities around you. Let yourself dive into the ocean of possibilities. It doesn’t matter if you can’t swim, just paddle around and gradually, you will find the Micheal Phelps in you.
I was fortunate enough to take the courageous big leap out of my comfort zone into the virtual world of activities. The skills one can gain are boundaryless; anything as big as starting a new club or learning a new language to something seemingly small such as peeling vegetables is a skill earned and a skill kept. For all I know, do not limit yourself to a particular aspect or field. Explore, fidget, jump around, test new waters. Make everything your home, and if not that, at least your rental.
What to Start with? Skill Camps, Digital Immersions & More to Look Out For!
Personally speaking, I got into an entrepreneurial field, created a research paper on a subject I am more than keen about, tested my hand at video making cum editing, STEM bases, and wrote a lot- both publicly and personally. With that, the previously sleeping, rusted wheels in my brain started to move. The activities I have undertaken and the experiences I have received have changed me a lot, in the surprising span of six months. I’m positive that it has made me ready for the future, sculpting out a better me by sitting at home.
With a lot of scope that can accommodate numerous passions and fields into a global frontier, entrepreneurship is a wonderful area to try out if you want to challenge yourself in a totally beneficial way.
STEM based activities, camps and projects are gaining a lot of attention due to their versatile nature, innovative methodology and approach to general life.
Language courses are also fun, provided you are keen to recognize cultural values and community aspects. Apart from that, it’s a good suggestion to tune into arts of any form- designing, painting, music, dance; anything really. The key idea here is to find areas of interest not just familiar, but also interesting and thrilling to yourself.
Outro: 21st Century Citizen, There You Are!
You will be stunned at how quick the wheels in you start turning, once you find one (or more, at best) thing to keep you engaged. For best results, keep this engaging curriculum on the top few tiers of your priority list, but at the same time, allow time for yourself, because there really is nothing better than being yourself, is it not?
With that, my dear readers, we come to the end of this elaborately written, yet brief journey of upskilling while at home. And hopefully if you decide to do something with regards to what I have mentioned above, then in a few months I would be happy to congratulate you on your achievements. If you already are an upskiller, then belated congratulations to you too. Or if you don’t plan to do any of these, and simply read through, here I congratulate you too! Nevertheless, congratulations to everyone, because you just achieved another skill – the skill of reading through patiently. And that is upskilling indeed!
Trending future skills: Future proof your university portfolio
Trending future skills: Future proof your university portfolio, learn about the skills companies of tomorrow will most likely be looking for and how The Explorers Lab can help you train up. The conversation about the future of jobs and skills is one of the most important in education. A student entering formal education today will ... Read more
How students can learn to build resilience
Being resilient means being able to ‘bounce back’ when something challenging happens in our lives. To pick ourselves up and continue walking after being struck down. To carry on in the face of setbacks and hardships. Sounds like the most envious Superpower of all, doesn’t it? And the good news is that resilience isn’t a ... Read more
Education Re-imagined: A New Era of Online Learning
A tectonic shift in education has been knocking at our doors ever since the global pandemic forced widespread experimentation around a new idea a.k.a Online Learning. We are now entering a new era — the revolution in the Ed-Tech industry. While one cannot discount the skepticism surrounding education through the internet, here is a list ... Read more