Learn new skills during COVID-19 lockdown

For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in learning new things. From a young age, I wanted to try as many hobbies as I could get my hands on. Learning new skills and talents seemed so rewarding and fun. Now that I am in college, it is easier than ever to jump into new hobbies.

That changed after spring break following the COVID-19 outbreak. Being stuck at home, there is only so much you can do. Thankfully, there are opportunities to learn new things that are now available free to college students. 

Recently, the California State University Entertainment Alliance made a deal with Masterclass to give every CSU student and faculty member a yearlong, all-access pass. These classes give no credit or grades but are meant to have fun. As someone itching to learn something new, I immediately jumped on the Masterclass website to see what was available.

The masterclass is full of interesting classes. Browsing the website, I was starstruck by all the industry leaders I could learn from. Gordon Ramsey hosts a cooking class; Serena Williams can teach you to play tennis and Samuel L. Jackson can guide you in becoming a better actor. The impressive list of professionals is always growing.

Currently, I am taking a Mixology course with two world-renown mixologists, Ryan Chetiyawardana and Lynnette Marrero. The first lesson out of the 17 available for the course caught me up on the duo’s accomplishments. Chetiyawardana owns some of the top bars in London and Marrero was voted Wine Enthusiasts mixologist of 2016.

As I went through the course, I learned more than recipes. Having these professionals explain the small details, like how to prepare mint and properly use a cocktail shaker makes it even more exciting to try new drinks. 

Most lessons are very short, so you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to the course. With most lessons being under 30 minutes, you can take a break from schoolwork or Netflix, to learn a new skill.

The lessons are very conversational, but when listening to industry professionals, there is a bit of jargon that I needed to look up to fully understand what was being said. As an online class, it’s all at your own pace.

My favorite part of Masterclass so far has been the workbooks provided. When I downloaded the workbook, I was not expecting a 53-page document, full of recipes, recommendations of tools to use, and general tips and tricks. The workbook is a great resource for the class. 

It’s very easy to sign up for Masterclass. All you have to do is follow the link and submit your application, making sure to use your school email. When I signed up, it asked for my credit card information, but you can skip that step and accept the free gift. I recommend not entering payment information, as it should be completely free.

Take a break from streaming and enrich yourself by learning something. Come out of quarantine with new skills to impress your friends and have some fun. 

Elijah Ewing can be reached at [email protected].