I hate texting on my iPhone. For some reason it’s ridiculously hard to hit the keys I intend to hit because there are no physical keys. It’s not that I’m elderly, (though I am in spirit) I just haven’t gotten used to the technology. The technology at my fingertips is just too new even for me. Just ten years ago I had a Blackberry with a qwerty keyboard and, at the time, I was a wiz at texting. Now here I am awkwardly twiddling my thumbs on my new iPhone trying to tap out a few lines of text. Believe it or not I’m in my early twenties. Fortunately, my boyfriend took enough pity on me to show me how I can turn the phone sideways to make it look more like the qwerty board from back in the day, but I know that eventually I’m just going to have to learn to type on it like everyone else, because technology moves on whether I’m ready for it or not. However, with ever evolving technologies allowing for us to possess a world of opportunities at our fingertips, it’s hard to imagine not taking full advantage of the all the resources we have. But we often don’t. Most people would much rather be scrolling down Instagram or Facebook wasting brain cells on what Kim Kardashian wore at the Grammy’s (Did she go to that? I don’t even know).
The internet is a ridiculously expansive resource that provides content that my parents and grandparents never imagined would become available and, get this, most of it is free! So if you have some free time, look for these intelligent ways to spend your free time:
Find a Mentor
Want to learn what it takes to be a doctor? Just ask someone! Back when I was contemplating applying to law school, I reached out to a bunch of different lawyers in the fields I was interested in and just asked them for advice. On websites for law firms and non-profits, there is always contact info. So I reached out genuinely seeking their invaluable advice and would you believe that a bunch of people got back to me and provided volumes of advice and guidance! Make sure that you’re not spamming or being a pest to anyone. Be mindful that the receiver is just randomly receiving an email from some stranger they don’t know. So include in the email as much as you are comfortable sharing about yourself, what you are passionate about, how you found them and what you are asking from them. Avoid random jokes, weird lines or overly personal information. Keep your email straight forward and professional.
Take a Class!
There are a hundred different website where you can take classes online entirely free! There are platforms being offered by Harvard, MIT, and U Chicago to name a few. If you like, you can also receive a certificate for your course so that you can slap that on your resume and it’ll look all official and stuff. Take something random that you’re interested in or take something that pertains directly to what your passionate about. It’s totally up to you! Don’t worry about your schedule. The course videos are accessible online for you to watch anytime you like.
Connect with Others
Join a Facebook group or Meetup that pertains to your interests and meet other people who can help you along your journey! You never know what opportunities other people know of and who doesn’t like having friends!
Read a Book
Kindle allows you to read books from the free Kindle app accessible from your PC and mobile device. In other words, you can take your books with you everywhere you go! If you need some inspiration, here is my current reading list:
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Cosmos By Carl Sagan
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Watch a Documentary
Between Netflix and Youtube you can find a bunch of different documentaries, but you can also visit this website to feed your hunger for educational documentaries: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/. You can also visit this website that gives you a list of videos to watch instead of watching TV: http://unplugthetv.com/
Are you a writer? Practice your writing by writing some short stories, poems, plays, songs, or novels. If you need to sharpen your skills, visit the Daily Writing Tips website: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/
Find New Music
I don’t mean find more trashy pop music. Find music that touches your soul by scrolling through Bandcamp or Indie Shuffle. The key is to find music that makes you feel all warm inside, so have fun with it. You can also go on, what some people call, Youtube journeys. If you’re a fan of indie music like me, try starting with any song by the Paper Kites and go from there. Music helps me think clearer and puts me in a better mood to be productive. So my goal is to find music that enriches my life and motivates me to be a better person.
Challenge the Way You Think
Visit blogs that challenge the way you view the world. If you like an intellectually stimulating read, visit a website called High Existence. I also suggest that you visit the Science of Us, Aeon and You Are Not so Smart.