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We’re barely into this quarantine thing and have already binge-watched all of Love Is Blind, made a pretty decent banana bread and killed it with Peloton Jenn five mornings in a row. What next? Here are eight online courses, classes, and culture opportunities you can access from home – focused on everything from personal growth to interior design to baking to learning Chinese -- to become a better you we all come out on the other side of COVID. And we promise, you will.
Yale’s most popular class, called The Science of Well-Being, focuses on increasing your own happiness and building more productive habits and, well wow, it sounds like exactly the kind of kick in the pants we need right now. Luckily the course, taught by psychology professor Laurie Santos, is now available for free and over a million people have already enrolled.
Cook Like a Fancy, Famous Chef
Michelin star-chef Massimo Francescana – the guy behind the three-Michelin star, 12-table Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy and who just opened his first U.S. venue at the Gucci’s Rodeo Drive boutique (of course) – is not the type to sit home sharpening his knives while his restaurants are closed. Instead, he’s teaching #quarantinecooking classes for free on his Instagram page, showing followers how to make a decadent chocolate sauce, zippy Thai curry, and his signature tortellini.
Never taken in a show at a thee-ah-tah across the pond? Well now’s your chance to catch a bunch of performances of Shakespeare plays that were filmed live at the fabled (and currently shuttered) Globe Theatre in London with a roster that includes Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and of course, Romeo and Juliet. Granted, you’ll need to pay to access the content, but it’s a lot less than it would cost you to fly the fam to England.
Once you’re done with the Yale happy class, take a tour around the rest of the Ivy League campuses. There are more than 500 courses offered to the public by all those well-to-do schools. Take classic lit at Dartmouth, viral marketing at Penn, or Hinduism at Harvard. We’re almost afraid to find out how many of the 500 we can get through.
Check Out a World of Art
Most museums around the globe are currently closed, but you can still step inside thousands of them virtually via something called Google Arts & Culture, which we’ll admit, we had no idea existed. From there you can pop into the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam; the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum; and the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian in DC, in addition to many other venues you’ll likely never travel to in real life – like the Contemporary Art Platform in Kuwait – so might as well check ‘em out now. You can also click on graffiti and public art in certain cities and go inside landmarks like the Eiffel Tower while you’re at it.
Got a guitar, bass, or ukulele lying around? Dig them out! Guitar giant Fender is offering three free months of online lessons for all of the above instruments taught by a gaggle of top-notch musicians. The site promises “bite-size lessons” you can take from anywhere while learning songs you love. Just imagine the dinner-party impressing you’ll be doing a few months from now. We hope ...
Master Something New
You’ve likely seen ads for this online Masterclass platform -- with classes taught by celebs and other big-name folks at the top of their fields – popping up in your Insta feed lately and with good reason. Now is the time to learn a dreamy new skill or subject you’ve always been interested in. The crew behind the site managed to recruit an impressive roster bigwigs like Frank Geary for architecture, Natalie Portman for acting, and Diane Von Furstenberg for building a fashion brand. But for some stuff you can eventually use in your future everyday life (if we ever get back there again), try photography with Annie Leibowitz, entrepreneurship with Spanx founder Sarah Blakely, interior design with Kelly Wearstler, makeup with Bobbi Brown, or French pastry fundamentals with Thomas Keller. The cool thing is you pay an annual subscription (which comes out to about $15 a month) and get access to all 80 courses, which each get broken out into 20 easy-to-consume 10-minute lessons per course. So in the time it took you to scroll through Facebook, you could have learned how to launch a business. Maybe.
Language apps abound these days, so it’s finally time to pick back up on that language you started to learn in high school ... or find a new one to master. Top-of-the-line language-learning apps like Duolingo, Babbel, Drops and Rosetta Stone all offer various types of free content to get you started in the language of your choice along with options to pay for content if you decided you really want to speak it seriously by summer.