20+ Ways to Stay Engaged from Home

Updated: Mar 25

You might find that you have some free time on your hands now that your activities are limited. What to do? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Ivy League college courses you can take now for free

  2. Go to YouTube, type in “tutorial” or “how to” and learn how to do something 

  3. Call a distant family member

  4. Reread a favorite book(s) from your childhood

  5. Find an Excel tutorial. Knowing advanced Excel functions (VLOOKUPs, Pivot tables) is a huge resume booster and no one learns them, for the most part, until they start work. You’ll be way ahead of the game.

  6. Learn something through online classes: MOOCs from EdX, MIT Open Courseware, Saylor, Coursera, Open Culture, Outschool, and or get a Google Cloud certification in G Suite. 

  7. Find an online discussion group like Brave Writer, which has some cool movie discussion groups for high schoolers (though those aren't free)

  8. Read books (especially literature). It’s good for your college applications and your brain!

  9. Watch Ted Talks.

  10. Watch films on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 List (The Criterion Collection is available for streaming).

  11. Learn to code through Udacity.

  12. Take a virtual museum tour.

  13. Develop fundamental life skills, like cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, financial literacy, sewing, ironing – all of those things that you’re going to learn in a crash course in your first year of college!

  14. Pick up old hobbies you haven’t had time for once you started high school. Drawing, painting, or playing chess or Scrabble are great places to start. 

  15. Start a new hobby: grow a hydroponic vegetable garden, build an aquarium, organize your room like Marie Kondo, or develop an app. 

  16. Write! Did you know that many of our world’s greatest works came out of enforced “social distancing”? Look at Nicolò Machiavelli, Sir Isaac Newton, Dante Alighieri, Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Albert Einstein, and many, many more greats!

  17. Create a YouTube channel showcasing your hidden talent.

  18. Go for a walk in nature.

  19. Learn how to meditate.

  20. Build a Rube Goldberg Machine that opens the front gate for the postman.

  21. Watch a Broadway play

  22. And finally, one of my favorite suggestions: keep a journal. Writing has many benefits, including improving your writing, spelling, and grammar, relieving stress, boosting memory and inspiring creativity. It is also very likely that the coronavirus and its aftermath will be the topic of some college supplemental essay prompts, so this is a great time to collect your thoughts and impressions.

  23. Other good suggestions Social distancing doesn’t have to doom your weekends - CNN article

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