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Top 10 new things to learn in quarantine

Learning something new can be the sustenance our mind needs to quench our boredom and satisfy our cravings for creativity

1. How to knit or crochet

For some, needlework can manifest itself as a somewhat elusive art. But this skill is as equally impressive as it is functional, and it’s perfect for making everything from dog sweaters to chunky knit blankets. Best of all, needlework is a great stress reliever, making it the perfect activity to fight the quarantine blues.

2. How to speak another language

Learning another language is much easier said than done, but it is a rewarding life skill. Imagine — once quarantine is over, of course — ordering a pizza in Italy, in Italian! Sounds great, right? Fortunately, it has become much easier to learn another language with apps like Duolingo and Babbel. Finally, I will be able to order a cheese danish in Denmark while speaking to a Dane in Danish — try saying that one 10 times fast.

3. How to code

Computer coding is considered a valuable skill for anyone to have when entering the working world, and it seems that the demand for computer-related jobs is on the rise as we digitialize more and more services. Currently, there are many resources available to learn how to code, including on LinkedIn and Thinking like a computer can be difficult, but it's always fun to be able to tell anything what to do.

4. How to cook

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and cooking is the heartbeat that provides us with the flavors of passion and fulfillment. Learning how to cook is arguably the most delicious art form, and some even call cooking a love language! Whether following recipes or improvising, understanding the power of the pots and pans can lead to a boundless cornucopia of deliciousness. Just be sure to keep an eye on your oven timer, or else you might be left with the charred remnants of your cooking attempt instead.

5. How to solve a Rubik’s Cube

If you want to learn a skill that will be so impressive that you even impress yourself, then look no further. I present to you possibly one of the most elusive skills to those that haven’t yet mastered it — solving a Rubik’s cube. Do you understand the mysteries that are attributed to this colorful cube? I surely don’t, but thankfully there are plenty of people who have cracked the code and made YouTube videos about it. There is something rather charming about not understanding the secrets of the cube, but whether it should stay that way is up to you.

6. How to dance

2020 was the year of the TikTok dance, so why should we be skipping out on our fair share of fame? TikTok dances have taken over the popular sphere, but that doesn’t mean it’s right to forget about the classics! I’m talking jams like the Macarena — I will never forget the hours we spent in elementary school physical education repeating the catchy hand movements until everyone in the fifth grade could do it. Those were simpler times. In addition to revisiting childhood memories, learning to dance can be a great way to get your body moving after hours of sitting in front of a laptop all day.

7. How to be a good storyteller

Telling a story is like reading a good book out loud, minus the book. Being a good storyteller can be fun, engaging and rewarding. This ability is rewarded with good friendships, deeper connections with others and much more. Interestingly, there are even online resources available to become a better storyteller! Name a better way to transform any conversation into a thrilling interaction, I’ll wait.

8. How to make origami

Who knew that folding paper could be so fun? Learning the magic of origami gives you the ability to turn that rejection letter into a paper crane or that failed test into a paper hat. With each fold, your worries are creased away into the paper, literally. According to Psychology Today, origami is an excellent stress-relieving practice, and it can help increase mindfulness. So fold up your problems into a paper airplane and let them fly away.

9. How to draw

Become the master of your paper domain by submitting your scribbles to the void of endless potential that is a blank sheet of paper. Drawing is one of those activities that you are admired for if you are “good” at it, but I believe that using paper as a medium of expression can take many forms — yes, I have a journal specifically for scribbling. Like many other skills on this list, drawing has been proven to be therapeutic and an anxiety-reducer, making it a perfect activity for these stressful times.

10. How to upcycle

Upcycling is all the rage in sustainable business operations nowadays, allowing people to take used products and repurpose them into other amazing things. It can take many forms, and some of my favorites include using a bottle cutter to turn glass bottles into cups, using old salsa jars to store dry goods and making fertilizer with some used coffee grounds. It's quite easy to upcycle, and I believe that it can even be humorous. For example, a good way to make use of an empty glass bottle — particularly, a bottle from a 21+ beverage — is to turn it into a water bottle. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to keep calm after seeing the faces of my classmates on Zoom when I take a sip of water.