What I Learned In My First Year As a Digital Student by@mashabeetroot

What I Learned In My First Year As a Digital Student

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Masha Beetroot


Exactly one year ago I have decided to heavily invest in myself starting with education, sport and healthy eating. While calculating the approximate cost of my new life plan I have realized that certain adjustments will have to be made. That’s when I remembered that we live in a world of free digital possibilities. So I made a pact with myself to learn as much as possible with 0 financial investments. Here’s what I got out of it.

I chose 3 e-learning educational platforms: KHAN academy app to study science, Coursera website to learn psychology and Polygled to master Portuguese with the natives. The idea was to have one serious educational resource, one game-like and one that will feel like an easy-going social network.


This online platform facilitates learning on the go. It’s really convenient as you can engage in the conversation and practice foreign languages with the natives whenever it is convenient for you. All you need is internet access.

As I could choose language partners based on our mutual interests our conversation quickly developed and lasted sometimes for hours. In a way, such form of international communication formed a learning habit that I really wanted to keep with me for as long as possible.

Another cool feature of Polygled is a quick chat option that allows you to find a chat partner in one click. That’s both convenient and entertaining. Plus my international network kept growing and I found myself a couple of good buddies!


On this website, I found numerous courses on targeted subjects but my main focus was psychology. I was impressed by a huge number of well-established and world-famous universities that offer courses for free. There is also a good system of progress indicators that show fulfillment at each step of the class. This was very motivational!

Specified timeline and deadlines made the learning experience almost identical to my university times which gave me a great feeling of being a college grad again. All the courses are completely free unless you want to get an online certificate to connect to your LinkedIn account. In order to get certified you will have to pay approximately $49 per certificate.


This application was entertaining, engaging and fun. Every educational feature that you can find in the app is free. All functions are easy to understand and the number of learning materials seems truly infinite. The quality of content is great all explanations are simple and are presented in the user-friendly format.

So my daily learning routine looked somewhat like this: 20 minutes of Coursera videos accompanied by a cup of coffee. Then Khan Academy during my lunch break at the office and chatting with Spanish native speakers whenever I had time and desire to do so.

Overall I was spending around 1,5 hours on online learning mostly without even noticing it. Only Coursera felt somewhat like obligatory study time, while Polygled and Khan Academy felt more like chatting with friends and watching a youtube video to relax and take your mind off work.

The bottom line:

My learning experience was entertaining and the results have exceeded my own expectations, I have studied psychology with Princeton University professors. Tomorrow I can easily give a talk on almost any topic in the field of astronomy & cosmology and I now have around 10 friends from Spain. Hola amigos!

In the modern world, it is feasible to learn for free from multiple resources. Learning can be perceived as a game or a fun interaction with a new person.

This year game me new acquaintances, tons of new information, pride in my dedication to develop and learn but most importantly it kept thousands of dollars in my pocket.