15 Things The Internet Can Teach You For Free
These 15 outlets of digital know-how will enlighten you, excite you, and if you stick around long enough, you may just learn a life-changing lesson in the process. College is overrated. Consider this list your debt-free alternative.
- Learn a new language
In case you ever want to ditch the translation book, or just order food at your favorite taco joint with classy authenticity, head over to Duolingo for a totally free alternative to night classes or Rosetta Stone.
- Learn the basics of psychology from a Yale professor
If you are trying to understand why your girlfriend says she’s not hungry, when you know she definitely wants you to take her out to dinner, try out this Intro to Psych class from one of the most renowned professors in the entire world. It probably won’t save your relationship, but at least you’ll know why.
- Learn how to code
In today’s world of teenage dot-com millionaires, coding is an extremely valuable skill. Just look at how many jobs have “HTML knowledge is a plus” on their descriptions. Luckily, there are resources like Codecademy to give newbies a place to learn and practice their coding skills. 24 million people have joined. That’s 24 million people that are already ahead of you. Get on it!
- Learn to manage your money competently
Making money is useless if you don’t know how to manage it. With an app like Mint, you’ll learn to take control of your finances, while getting all the necessary tools to maintain and exploit your newfound knowledge in the process. All for the low, low price of absolutely nothing.
- Take a Harvard course on American Government
There is no other American school with the sterling reputation of Harvard University (despite what those Yale guys have to say). That’s why they’re the only people I’d trust to fill me in on American Government, a course you can take for free through their open course channel. You know who went to Harvard? Natalie Portman. That’s good enough for me.
- Speak in public, without freaking out
Public speaking is the number one fear for Americans. That means most people would rather be inside of a casket than delivering a eulogy (thanks to Jerry Seinfeld for that one). With this course available online via the University of Washington you can learn to deliver a competent public speech, without falling flat on your face.
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- Learn to play guitar
As someone who has been playing guitar for over a decade, I can assure you the hardest part is learning the basics. To start you off, or get you over a tough learning “plateau,” you can turn to Justin Guitar or Ultimate-Guitar for interactive lessons and easy-to-use tablature (sheet music, for people who can’t read sheet music) that will have you melting faces in no time.
- Take photographs like a professional
Photography is halfway between a science and an art. So essentially, it’s hard as hell. There’s no shame in asking for a little help while you are trying to up your Instagram game, and with this free course from MIT, you can learn the basics of photography from some of the guys that make the world turn.
- Brew your own beer
The only thing more delicious than a beer you went out and bought, is a beer that came from your own hop-stained hands. The guys at HomeBrew Academy have set up a resource that will get you started in the world of home brewing, with everything you need to know about making a tasty, scandalously-named IPA, for your eyes only.
- Learn Economics and Physics from MIT professors
MIT is known for being the school where the people who make everything you care about go to pull elaborate pranks. And maybe get an education, I guess. So when you get the chance to learn about Econ, or Astrophysics from some of the certified geniuses that teach there, you should probably take it.
- Cook chef-caliber meals
If you are attempting to be a fully functional adult, you should learn to cook a decent meal or two. And if you are going to learn to cook a decent meal or two, you might as well go full Bourdain and learn to cook like a freakin’ chef. Allrecipes is a great resource for…um…all the recipes you’ll ever need. While the free section of the site is more than enough to keep amateur-Batalis at bay, there’s also a comprehensive “cooking school” for those willing to shell out some shekels. Time to bring that bacon home, and cook it, too.
- Take a full college course on gardening
If your green thumb has turned pitch black, check out this full college course on Botany from Oregon State, now available in its entirety online. If you don’t have the most bitchin’ cherry tomatoes on your block, how do you even sleep at night?
- Become fluent in sign language
I took sign language in college, and I’ve been amazed at how handy it has become in my life. It’s one of those things (like condoms) that you never think you’ll need, until you really, really need it. The ASL Browser was created by Michigan State to provide an online portal for anyone to easily learn sign language, online. As was LifePrint, another reliable online outlet to learn ASL.
- Learn to knit better than your grandmother
Knitting may not be considered the most macho of skills to be learned, but you know what’s manly as hell? Knitting your own jet-black wool sweater, with a big middle finger on it, and wearing it all winter as a big F-U to mother nature. This step-by-step guide to knitting by Instructables will deliver grandma-level knitting skills in a matter of weeks.
- Learn how to invest your money in stocks
You probably haven’t been investing in stocks much. Which is probably why you don’t have stacks of Scrooge McDuck-style money to dive into. Investopedia may sound like a debilitating stomach disease, but it’s actually an excellent resource to introduce yourself to the world of stock investing. Always be selling. Or maybe buying? I’m not sure. Consult the site.