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Learning beyond the classroom: ideas and resources

The current situation that we find ourselves in has meant school closures, online lessons, and video calls day in day out. You may feel that some of your days are monotonous, futile, or repetitive. Let me tell you something… it is completely normal to feel that way!

We. Are. Going. Through. A. Pandemic.

Let that sink in for a second.

Sure, it has been hard. Most things have changed yet nothing is different at the same time. You are still the same motivated and diligent young woman that you were before the pandemic. You still have goals, ambitions, and dreams. Why would you cancel them? Why would you stop aiming high?

In fact, NOW is the time to delve deeper into the topics that you have always had a passion for. NOW is the time to learn beyond the classroom.

How do I cultivate my interest in something?

Perhaps you like reading? Coding? Speaking French? Learning about human anatomy?

Whatever you have a penchant for, there are several things you can do to immerse yourself in the fields you find fascinating.

1) Consider creating a “professional” Twitter account

Twitter is an incredible platform, if used correctly. All profiles are public by default (you can change this through the settings later) which means that you can engage in discussions and interact with your favourite journalists or scientists. One thing I particularly like about Twitter is the informality of it. You can simply engage and interact with big names and experts in a way you cannot via phone or email. Have a burning question about the psychology of marketing? Boom – in one hour, you have a renowned professor proving their expertise in the topic that you inquired about.

However, you do have to remember to remain “professional” and act within reason – as with any other social media platform. If you are going to create a Twitter account to re-tweet memes and Love Island news, then it may be a good idea to create two profiles… do not merge your personal account with your “professional” one.

Suggested by a teacher that I highly respect and admire, I have been on Twitter for well-over a year now. The platform has provided me with several event recommendations, resources, insights… you name it! You will not be disappointed once you join the Twitter community.

2) Consider doing an online course

Whatever your passion is, you will most likely find an online course on it! Not only will you learn more about your chosen field, you could also mention that you did an online course on your UCAS personal statement or CV. Most courses are free – though, some may incur charges for extra perks or certificates. Choose whatever floats your boat!

Here are some websites you can find online courses on:

3) Consider searching for webinars and online conferences on Eventbrite

Strict government Covid-19 measures have meant that most events cannot take place physically. Therefore, most events are either cancelled or take place digitally. In fact, some events may even be free since they are digital!

One great tip would be to go to and to search for events. Not sure what to search? Just type words relating to your passion and you are bound to find an event that interests you. Maybe it is something you have learned in your online lessons recently and you want to do some research beyond the syllabus?

You could even tweet about the event you virtually attended – ask the speakers further questions, follow the people that inspire you and interact with them! As they say, the sky is the limit.

In fact, I found thinkHER ambition via Eventbrite after searching ‘personal development’. You never know what kind of opportunities a random search can provide you – so, go for it! Do it now!

If you are worried that the topic being discussed will be above your level of exposure and understanding – don’t be! Never forget that feeling uncomfortable is the first step towards personal growth.

There are several ways of learning beyond the classroom. You just need to be proactive and take the first step. Today is the opportunity to build the tomorrow you want.  Therefore, inhale the future and exhale the past – with a mask, of course.

After all, we must “Stay Alert” 

Written by Sinem Ishlek

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