For the first time in history, the world has turned into a massive zoo, with a little twist – the roles of animals and humans when it comes to who’s in and who’s out has switched. For many of us, the lockdown has brought about much frustration. Perhaps some of us were excited fresh graduates, looking forward to stepping into the working world.
Some of us may be adults with a family to provide for and are perhaps contributing to rising unemployment rates. However, every cloud has a silver lining and we have to scavenge for that silver lining. For instance, the lockdown has given us more free time for ourselves – which can be a positive or negative thing, depending on how you utilise it.
For me, I have leveraged it by going on intense reading sprees and picking up a few new skills on the way. As such, I hereby present five skills – a mixture of skills to pay the bills and hobbies to keep you happy!
Lockdowns have forced us to face a harsh reality. One-time food delivery fees may be affordable, but when it becomes a daily affair, we realise how unsustainable it is. For the first time in our lives, we are forced to cook.
And here comes a second slap by reality. For some of us, our nightmare-inducing cooking skills merely serve to torture ourselves and household members with borderline edible food churned out from the kitchen, disgracing the conventional wisdom that home-cooked food brings a family together.
As a victim of my sister’s daily kitchen witchcraft, I humbly beseech citizens of today (myself, included) to pick up the fundamentals of cooking. Not only will learning proper cooking and hygiene knowledge spare you from the long, arduous process of finishing your dishes, it will also save you a great deal of money, compared to ordering delivery food for every single meal.
2. Computer Science
With the Fourth Industrial Revolution – characterised by the fusion of digital, biological, and physical worlds, coupled with the increasing usage of technologies such as AI, cloud computing, 3D-printing, etc – the value of studying computer science seems self-explanatory. Computer science, in short, is the study of computers and computational systems.
Computer scientists usually deal with software and can specialise in areas of study such as AI, security, database systems, programming languages, numerical analysis, and more. To kickstart your journey in computer science, you can consider the CS50: Introduction to Computer Science course on edX. The best part is, it is free – unless you wish to earn a certificate and have your assignments graded.
3. Pick Up a New Instrument
Perhaps you’ve once dreamt about yourself sitting in front of a piano, fingers elegantly running through the keys as you serenade to your significant other. To prove your conviction, you might have spent a heavy sum to acquire your preferred music instrument, only to let it rot in your storeroom as you simply do not have the time for it.
But wait… isn’t time an excess in your life right now? Such a great opportunity doesn’t come every day! Furthermore, online course providers are giving discounts to support Stay-at-Home orders, so why not exploit this opportunity and get the best out of it! Some possible sites to start your music journey are:
For those without musical instruments readily accessible, you can always consider training your vocals instead!
COVID-19 has hit wages and jobs hard, really hard. This means that people will have lesser disposable income, which will translate to their unwillingness to spend lavishly. Selling your products, especially if they are non-essential, might be even more difficult post-coronavirus. So why not take this chance to explore new and more advanced ways to lure people into buying your products right now?
5. Abstract Thinking Skills
The world today is obsessed with data. But, what can we do with data alone? We need people who are able to look at these numbers and digest them – by recognising trends, analyzing trends, and hypothesising reasons for these trends to give meaning to all these statistics.
This is where abstract thinking comes into play. Abstract thinking is the ability to absorb information from our senses and make connections to the wider world. As abstract as it sounds, there are actually concrete steps you can take to develop this highly coveted skill. If you want to improve your abstract thinking skills, here are some things you can try:
- Play with figurative languages, such as similes, metaphors, analogies, etc. When you’re brainstorming about these figurative languages, your brain is forced to identify connections between two seemingly unrelated subjects, which is one key aspect of abstract thinking.
- Solve puzzles. Puzzles help you to steer away from conventional ways of solving questions and train you to conceive alternatives to solving the situation at hand.
- Try brain teasers and optical illusions. These help individuals view information from different perspectives and angles!
If necessity is the mother of inventions, COVID-19 is the mother of massive transformations in our society. No doubt, there are going to be revolutionary changes in society and we have to be ready for it. The Dalai Lama once said, “If a problem is fixable, then there is no need to worry.
If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.” Unemployment rates are going to go up – there is nothing we can do about that. However, it’s not all gloom and doom. When one door closes, another opens. If we arm ourselves with new skills during the lockdown, I am sure we can find that one open door that leads us to a brighter future.