SEE students at home, here’s what you can do to make the most of your timeThis space of uncertainty and boredom in the time of lockdown could be a chance for you to actually start something new and get learning.
The world is struggling with a pandemic, and everyone is at risk to catch the global health hazard. And your SEE exams got postponed indefinitely.
Now, you could spend your time revising periodically and staying prepared for your exam but how do you keep yourself motivated for that when you don’t even know when the exams will actually be held? Maybe, you could go out, meet your neighbourhood friends, and play street-cricket. But that defeats the whole purpose of social distancing. Now I know what you are thinking, You’re going to grab that phone/tablet/laptop that you have at home and binge on videos all day. Or play your favourite game online. Who cares if you can’t leave the room? You have got plenty of options to keep yourself busy.
But after a few hours, it starts getting boring again. After a couple of days, you have the highest scores amongst your friends and you are all caught up with the drama in your favourite YouTubers’ lives. So, what next?
Let me tell you a little secret, this space of uncertainty and boredom is when you can actually start learning. And I don’t mean learning as in practising old SEE questions from a question bank.
I am a teacher myself, but I am not a big fan of SEE exams. I am not a fan of most exams that you have to take. These exams dictate a particular syllabus, a list of things that the teachers want you to learn so you can sit through these exams and do well. While that may have their own importance, often the exams don’t seem to care about what you really want to learn or do.
Which is even more reason why this time is important for you. There is no curriculum on how you should spend your days home during a virus outbreak. No one wants you to take an exam about it. It is the first time in at least a year that you don’t have to spend your time from dusk to dawn preparing for the SEEs.
And I have got a few tips for you. Think of these tips not as orders but as cheats for you to look into as you sail through uncertain seas.
My first suggestion for you is that you make something. And no, it doesn’t have to be a robot, or drone, or a science project. There is so much more for you to make. Using everything you already have in your home.
Think of videos for example. Now TikTok may be awesome. And prank videos, asmr, and game streams are great too. But what if you could be a little more creative, have some more fun?
Give it a minute; think about it. How about you write your own script? Even better, come up with scripts for short films. And then film it with your phones. Here is a prompt for you, think of an alternative ending for Avengers: Endgame(spoilers ahead), one where Iron Man doesn’t die in the end. Write a rap song. Find a free beat on YouTube, listen to it for a while and write some rhymes to go with it.
Draw something. You don’t have to buy paintbrushes, canvas and everything yet. Use your phone. My friend, who also made that little art that you can see with this article, says that you can get many free drawing apps for your phone or tablet. Her favourite one is Adobe Draw.
And last but not the least, there are tons of detailed instructions for origami all over the internet. Grab a piece of paper, warm up your fingers, and start folding. Make a paper plane, a paper heart, a butterfly, a paper swan, a paper boat, a pop-up card, a paper rose, a paper umbrella, a paper ball, a paper pepper, phew! The list goes on!
You can use this time to learn things that you want to learn. Learn to play a musical instrument. Fix that guitar that you haven’t touched after last year and learn some new songs. Or learn how to play the piano on your phone.
Learn video editing skills. Look at some of your favourite YouTubers, and try to learn all the fun things they do with their cameras. Animate things into your own video, get some green screen and make yourself fly in the sky like superman in an old movie.
Watch things around you. By now you may have already heard that Isaac Newton started thinking about gravity watching apples (among other things) falling to the ground. Did you also know that he came up with his theory of gravity while he had to stay home during a disease outbreak?
Notice how trees shake in the wind. Notice how your puppy’s tongue curls up to hold water as it drinks from its bowl. Watch some movies. I love coming of age movies, and I am sure you will too. One of my favourite coming of age films, The Wind Rises by Hayao Miyazaki. Many people I know recommend all the movies by Studio Ghibli.
Maybe you really like studying and you love digging deeper into the syllabus and math problems. Or maybe you need some extra aid to prepare for your exams. Study on the internet. Perhaps go to Khan Academy’s channel on YouTube to find extra materials to study. Eddie Woo is a math teacher who posts his math lessons on YouTube and they could help you understand some concepts better.
Getting this time at home to ourselves where we don’t have to comply with anyone’s orders is the right time for us to get into our blankets and burrow into a wonderland.
Don’t worry if you don’t have books home. Project Gutenberg (gutenberg.org) has over 60,000 free ebooks that you can download and read. If you want to read Nepali books, go to pustakalaya.org, another website that lets you read books for free.
While doing all of these things, make sure you also separate time for your family. Help the folks at home with daily chores. Separate time to talk to your parents, siblings, and cousins. You may have a catching up long overdue especially if you have spent the past year going to school, taking extra classes and completing loads of assignments. Help your parents and grandparents who are on social media separate real news from fake news and make them better digital citizens.
Also spend time doing nothing with yourself. Listen to calming music, reflect on what you and the world are going through at this time of crisis. You are living through an important chunk of world history.