How students can expand their horizons from home

Zoe Bush·16 March 2021·5 min read
How students can expand their horizons from home

The safety measures which have resulted in an extensive amount of time at home has meant that opportunities for professional and personal growth have been sparse. Though many are suffering a lack of inspiration as a consequence of the challenges faced within the past year, there are still a variety of ways you can improve both your employability and your personal development from the comfort of your own home. These tips will encourage you to maximise your potential whilst at home, so that once things are up and running again, you’ll be in the best position possible.

Take on new challenges

The number one way to push yourself and excel independently is to take on new opportunities which drive you out of your comfort zone. Picking up a new hobby is a great way to challenge yourself through taking initiative and actively engaging with your personal interests. Hobbies encourage you to take time for yourself and increase your transferrable skills in a way that is engaging for you.

Some examples include:

- learning a new language

- teaching yourself an instrument

- practicing some creative writing

- practicing yoga

- reading a new novel

- learning how to cook

- taking part in a solo sport such as cycling or running

- learning a craft such as crochet

There are so many activities to choose from. Picking a personal challenge which you find interesting is a great way to get the most out of your free time whilst also motivating you for success.

Take an online course

There are a great selection of online courses out there spanning a whole variety of subjects in which you can learn new skills to support your future career, gain extra qualifications within a particular industry or learn something new for personal development. Websites such as FutureLearn and Coursera offer many of their courses for free with training from universities and industry experts. Investing time in your learning and progressing your skills is a great way to engage with a subject that you are passionate about and can be added to your CV to demonstrate your drive and independent study to future employers.

Expand your knowledge

Aside from taking subject specific courses, reading is a productive pastime in which you can mindfully engage with a topic of interest and broaden your knowledge. If you are career driven, you might want to be doing research into the kind of sector or organisation you want to join. Listening to podcasts and watching documentaries are also really interesting ways to broaden your knowledge of a subject with plenty of media consistently being produced on a whole range of issues. It is important to be thinking about ways in which you could swap out destruptive pastimes such as social media scrolling, with pastimes that inform your interests.

Keep ideas flowing through a journal

Journaling is a constructive method for reducing stress and anxiety, writing down your thoughts and ideas releases the negative thoughts and emotions which might be a hindrance to your daily life. Journaling is not only beneficial in the sense of relieving mental stress, but it is also a productive practice of writing. Through expressing thoughts and ideas in the written word you will continually develop your communication skills. Journals are also a great space to note aspects of personal and professional progress, keeping you focussed on your goals and plans for the future.

Enhance your online presence

Majority of professional opportunities are found online; this is why it is important to ensure that your online presence reflects how you want to be viewed in the professional world of work. Following organisations that interest you through your social channels is a great way to keep up to date on the most recent updates and developments. If you want to connect with organisations, employers and peers, LinkedIn is a brilliant social channel in which you can develop a personal profile. Joining social media discussions with like-minded people is a really interesting way to associate with peers in a similar position to yourself.

Taking on board just a few of these tips will help you to feel productive whilst at home, motivating you to feel your very best for when internships and work experience opportunities return to us in their usual format. It is important that you also continue a work to life balance in this time, taking opportunities which allow for personal growth alongside future professional success.

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