It has been a fair few weeks now since university cancelled all its face-to-face teaching. Whether you are stressing or feeling relief, we now must all settle down to this new reality. At some point, you are inevitably going to get bored. Whether you have read all the books in your room or you just cannot think of binging any more series on Netflix, you might want to try something new, and most importantly free. Here we present to you a great list of free and legal resources you can use to keep yourself relaxed and entertained through this difficult time.
First, you should definitely try MUBI (https://mubi.com), which is a streaming service providing 30 great indie films a month – either classics, international cinema or small experimental releases. You can have all that for free on a student plan, when registering with your university email.
For those bored with films and who miss the live performances, the New York Metropolitan Opera (https://www.metopera.org) and Vienna Opera House (https://www.wiener-staatsoper.at/en/) are streaming their shows daily for the duration of the pandemic. In the UK, the National Theatre at Home is releasing their productions starting with One Man, Two Guvnors the other week (https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home) and the Globe shares 40 of their plays online too (https://globeplayer.tv).
If you miss some friendly competition and would love to play some board games with your friends far away then Board Games Arena (www.futurelearn.com) provides plenty.
Although libraries are now closed you can visit the Open Library (https://openlibrary.org) with more than 20 million books available on loan. If you don’t find your desired eBook, you can also search Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org), which offers 60,000 free eBooks in many formats. But now that you are stuck at home, why not catch up on a great literary classic while doing something else with the free audiobook collection from Audible Stories (https://stories.audible.com/discovery)? It also offers many children’s stories in foreign languages, so if you want to practice some of your Spanish or German, this is the way to go. LibriVox (https://librivox.org) offers an even wider collection of books from the public domain read by volunteers. And if you are also passionate about free access to culture, why not help expand this collection by recording a chapter or two yourself?
In the unlikely case that you get so bored that you start missing studying, we have also got you covered. Two great resources are Coursera (www.coursera.org) (the free option is often hidden under the name of “audit the course”) and Future Learn (www.futurelearn.com). These provide access to courses from world class universities on any subject you want. Not to mention the plenty of free language apps such as Duoligo and Memrise that are also available.
However, this is a difficult time of worldwide crisis. Don’t feel the pressure of productivity. You don’t have to learn a new language and read ambitious literature every day. Sometimes getting out of bed is enough. Use the resources above for your own pleasure and entertainment, but not to put additional pressure on yourself.