The 90s gave us so much – the Spice Girls, “In Living Color,” Nirvana, backwards jeans, no Facebook updates from embarrassing relatives – but it also came with frustrations and struggles that most kids today just wouldn’t understand. Let’s jump in:
OK…so most of us have now been under stay-at-home quarantine orders for a few weeks now. And although I’ve alternated mostly between getting some work done and then eating (not well, I might add) and sleeping – I’ve been interested in trying to do something different during all of this.
Sure I could binge watch all the new series on Netflix or endlessly scroll through my Facebook and Instagram feeds, but I’m already bored with that. So what’s one to do?
Here is a roundup of some of the top free, fun, and cool classes that you can take online right now to help keep yourself busy:
Brush Up On Your Latin American History With A University Professor
We all know that we’re taught very little – if anything at all – about Latinx culture in the United States. Thankfully, we have access to great online resources, our families, and Latino literature to help keep us informed. Well now you can also sign up for the University of Houston’s Latin American History Through the Novel course.
Channel That Inner Creativity Into Art
Brit + Co is offering all of their classes for free during the pandemic. All you have to do to take advantage of their top-selling courses is use the code SELFCARE at checkout and you’ll quickly be learning how to decorate cakes, take wedding photos, improve your Instagram skills, and so much more.
Become A Tech Genius And Learn How To Code
Get Yourself Dance Floor Ready For Once We Can Finally Go Out Again
Everyone can dance, all it takes is some music — and tunes aren’t even needed for some forms of dance. Whether looking to learn ballet or just how to groove at a party, there’s a dance lesson for you. 305 Fitness has a plethora of free classes on YouTube.
Get Yourself An Ivy League Education
The eight Ivy League schools are offering hundreds of online courses to the public for free.
Dhawal Shah, founder of the online course aggregator Class Central, compiled a list of more than 400 classes that are available in subjects as varied as Machine Learning for Data Science and Analytics from Columbia University; HOPE: Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism from Princeton University; The Science of Well-Being from Yale; and Gamification from the University of Pennsylvania.
Work On Your Fitness
Not interested in stimulating your brain? How about your body? Many gym chains across the country have shuttered but are offering online classes for free.
Peloton is offering new users a 90-day trial on its app. This news comes as the company announced the closing of its showrooms until at least March 29. It added that this week it began producing content from its new studios in New York, “but it will be entirely closed to the public until further notice.”
Golds Gym is offering free access to its app, Goldsamp, until the end of May, where more than 600 audio and video workouts along with DJ mixes get you ready to work up a sweat. Planet Fitness is offering “Home Work-Ins” streamed live at 7 p.m. ET daily on its Facebook page.
Get Into Those Yoga Poses
When it comes to online yoga classes, over 6 million people trust Adriene. I’ve personally ditched the couch and went through a few videos. And they are great. In the playlists, you’ll find 30-day challenges for regular yoga practice, which work equally well for complete beginners and people who love sweating at gyms. Plus, Adriene and her doggie are super cute — so you’ll definitely enjoy their company.
Take Ana Lilia’s 5-Minute Breathwork Meditation
Right now we are being constantly bombarded with distressing newscasts and never-ending social media updates, so it’s especially important that we know how to de stress and unplug. This super helpful guided mediation class will help you start your day off on the right foot.
Take That Brilliant Idea And Become The Entrepreneur You Always Wanted To Be
Perhaps because we all have so little to do right now, we’re full of extra ideas. Feel like one of those ideas could be worth launching into your own business? Then Coursera’s course titled Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea To Marketplace is the online course for you – and it’s free.
Gain Some New Professional Insight Into Your Career
Recently launched School16 is offering live, remote classes every week for free, starting April 1st, for anyone who wants to learn about careers in tech like product management, sales, operations and more.
Every session is taught by leaders in companies ranging from fast growing startups to large tech firms like Slack and Google, where students hear directly from people hiring and managing these teams about what skills candidates need to have to be attractive hires, and what jobs will be available in the months and years to come.
Get Some Cooking Tips From Michelin-Starred Chefs
Even if you hate cooking, when else will you have the chance to learn from a Michelin chef? Massimo Bottura, whose name is associated with one of Italy’s finest restaurants, Osteria Francescana, recently announced the launch of his Instagram cooking course. It’s called Kitchen Quarantine and it’s a fun video guide to cooking basic stuff at home.
Or maybe you don’t want to do anything at all…and that’s OK too.
All of these are great options to keep yourself active and motivated during these certain times. But keep this in mind: it’s OK to not be superhuman during this crisis. One-hundred percent totally OK. It’s OK to somehow feel both productive and lazy, both stir-crazy and introverted. It’s OK to feel this crazy need to make the most of these days while nothing is regular and no rhythms are intact.
You can take this unprecedented pause in normality to learn nothing new, do nothing new, acquire nothing new — not a new skill, not a six pack, not even a new outlook on life.
It’s important to remember that there is no shame in being unproductive and uncreative, especially during a global outbreak. If you’re only resolution at present is to emerge at the end of this, with your family, alive and well, that’s OK.
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Movies can play such an important part in our lives as we grow up – they affect us more than we think, and we remember them long into adulthood and beyond. Here are 11 amazing Latino coming-of-age films that may speak to your childhood…
1. “Mosquita Y Mari” (2012)
This 2012 Official Sundance Selection and the Official Selection of the San Francisco International Film Festival tells us about two “young Chicanas [who] contemplate life when they stir unexpected desires in each other.” Aurora Guerrero, the writer and director, crafted something truly incredible and special, touching on what it’s like to be a queer woman of color.
2. “Por La Libre” (2000)
Ahhh, a film about growing pains. It follows Rodrigo and Rocco as they take a journey from Mexico City to Acapulco to accomplish their grandfather’s last wish. It hits home for anyone dealing with family issues, sexuality, and fighting with someone you’re really close to; like your cousins, brothers or sisters.
3. “The Best Things In The World” (2010)
Oh goodness, the feels in this movie! It tells the story of one family’s experience as the parents divorce, and the father comes out as gay. It’s a beautiful, funny, sad Brazilian film that hits on real issues that Latino families face. Get ready to laugh and cry.
4. “Confissões de Adolescente” (2014)
Give me a movie about growing up with sisters and I’ll give you my soul, tears, emotions… everything. How many of us grew up in a Latina household fighting, nagging, crying, and loving each other?! This 2014 film is based off the diaries of Maria Mariana, who also stars in the film!
5. “The Way He Looks” (2014)
Based on the 2010 short film, “I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone,“is about a blind teenager, his best friend Giovana, and their changing relationship when Gabriel is introduced. It’s sweet, poignant, and touches on the relationship between two teenagers that constantly blurs the line between friendship and something more.
6. “The Year My Parents Went On Vacation” (2006)
This film is the perfect mix of drama and comedy exploring themes of politics and familial discord, all centered around a young boy’s obsession with the World Cup. It’s part coming of age, part political commentary, part nostalgic tale and will leave your heart aching. For anyone who has had to live the repercussions of their parents’ lives, this is for you.
7. “Lake Tahoe” (2008)
This film isn’t just visually unique and interesting. The story is fascinating and focuses on Juan, who crashes his family car into a pole and attempts to fix it. Of course, you can bet that he meets some interesting characters his way to fix his car that ultimately changes his life.
8. “Alamar” (2009)
This documentary-style film is about a young boy visiting his father on the Banco Chinchorro. It’s got a 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so you know it’s pretty damn amazing. It’s about falling in love with nature, which is so gorgeously shot, and the relationship between the father and son will bring you to tears.
9. “I Like It Like That” (1994)
This Bronx-based comedy is about the trials and tribulations a young, poor Puerto Rican couple faces. If you’re Puerto Rican, you’ll find yourself raising hands in praise to the relatable moments in the film, and also just in appreciation of the struggle.
10. “Raising Victor Vargas” (2002)
A tale of a Dominican ladies’ man! This comedy-drama depicts life in the early 2000s in New York City’s Lower East Side. This film has an authentic take on what it’s like to grow up Latino with a big family, one that includes an abuelita who wants to put him in jail for no reason and a new girlfriend. This is another one that’ll make you laugh and probably cry.
11. “Hangin’ With The Homeboys” (1991)
You’ll recognize the faces in this movie (baby John Leguizamo!!! I die.) It’s the quintessential coming-of-age film about two black men and two Puerto Rican men over the course of one night in – you guessed it – the Bronx. It’s a ’90s classic! Friendship, girls, laughter – what more could you really want? It’s a perfect example of life in the city.
12. “Real Women Have Curves” (2002)
The movie is one of the most honest and unflinching looks at the relationship between mother and daughter. It came before “Lady Bird” and shows the struggle between the generations that we are all familiar with. A definite must-watch (or rewatch) while we are all sitting at home together.