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April 13, 2020 Monday 10:59:17 AM IST

A Fulfilling Vacation!

Cover Story

It was in 1665, similar to the measures being taken during the current Covid-19 pandemic, Sir Isaac Newton was in his early 20s when he was sent home from Cambridge when the Great Plague hit London. It was during this time, confined in his home, that Newton made some of his greatest discoveries, including gravity.

The year 1666, which he spent away from Cambridge at his estate, is termed as Newton’s annus mirabilis, his ‘wonder year’ when he began work on his discoveries in the fields of calculus, motion, optics and gravity. The mathematical papers he wrote during this time went on to form the early foundations of calculus. He then experimented with a few prisms in his bedroom, going so far as to punch a hole in his shutters for a small light beam to come through. This led to his theories in optics. Outside his window at Woolsthorpe Manor was ‘the apple tree’ that led to the discovery of gravity.

Vacation time is of course the time to rejoice, play and have lot of fun. But it should not be a mere wastage of time. Rather we should be constructive in spending our valuable time so that we can reap the benefits of the same at a later stage. We will discuss some methods through which we can make our vacations more effective

Online Learning


The online world is pumped up with a lot of courses which will enhance your skills to the next level. You don’t need to join courses with hefty fees to acquire this knowledge.  YouTube videos and other free, online courses and forums can help you learn lot of skills and knowledge. Maybe by this time, you can pass on your knowledge and even start teaching these skills! Here are a few skills you could develop:

▪ Play an instrument
▪ Learn a foreign language
 ▪ Public Speaking
 ▪ Vlogging or Youtube Channels
▪ Learn how to program/code and many more.

Volunteer at an NGO

The benefits of doing volunteer work in your free time are many-fold. Not only are you helping a needy person but you also learn valuable life skills like how to work in a team and how to take direction. Also, volunteering at an NGO doesn’t necessarily mean teaching kids how to read. You can find an NGO that deals with a cause close to your heart .


You can also think about helping the society in a way you can. A design thinking approach can be implemented to an unsolved problem in your locality. This will help you to think creatively which will finally end up in creative solutions.

Start your online business

Vacation time is not only a time to learn something, but it’s also a time to earn something for your pocket. The easiest way to accomplish this is to sell your skills online. You have multiple social media platforms where in you can show case you skills and products, get the order and sell it online. If one could effectively do marketing of the skills and the products it can be taken forward as a business which will fetch good money in the future.

Citizen Science Projects


Citizen science projects are collaborations between scientists and interested members of the public. Through these collaborations, volunteers (known as citizen scientists) have helped make thousands of important scientific discoveries. Organisations such as NASA are utilizing the capabilities of citizen scientists in a big way. All you need is a laptop or mobile and an open mind to think .There are also Artificial Intelligence based platforms like the https://www.inaturalist.org which helps the common people to become citizen scientist.

Students can also engage in designing and developing craft works utilising the waste materials from the surroundings. Platforms such as Arvind Gupta toys provide information on a number of useful projects from trash.

Students and parents should keep in mind that vacation time is for effective utilization of the potentials by acquiring additional skills .It should not be wasted by going for tuitions or burdening them with further bookish learning. It’s a golden opportunity to keep our mind and body open to acquire skills of our interest.



SHIHABUDHEEN P K

Entrepreneur and Leadership Coach 

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