Are you tired of spending your evenings sat on the couch, watching whatever is on telly? Do you scroll through your Facebook news feed and feel a soft pang of jealousy when you see all the fun, new things your friends are up to? Before you sadly curl beneath your blanket and wish it was you beaming proudly from those photos, whip out your laptop and jump online: finding your match online may only be a click away. Your course match, that is.
After all, who says that your digital prince charming can’t be the sense of fulfilment you get from discovering a new hobby, or finding that you’ve got a hidden talent for something you’d never of even thought to try? Online matchmaking isn’t a place for the lonely hearts club. It’s where you can find something to do that’s just for you: something that makes you happy.
But searching for your match online isn’t without its hiccups. Fingers poised over the keys, you wonder what it is that you’re really getting yourself into, and ponder the chances of it actually working out. Don’t fret: we’ve put together a list of FAQs for course match hopefuls to help assuage your stress and get you on the road to finding your next favourite pastime.
Where should I start?
Unsure and perhaps a bit afraid of what you’re signing up for, getting started is the toughest part of putting yourself out there. Before you start searching for ideas, you should sit down and ask yourself these questions:
In getting all this down, you’re crafting the narrowed mindset you need to sift through the options and find your perfect match. Do you shy away from the dance floor on a night out? Give a dance class a try. Do you shy away from cooking by always offering to bring the wine when there’s a dinner party? Pick up some cookery skills and next time whip up the dish that will steal the show.
I’m just after something casual. What if I don’t want to commit?
That’s perfectly fine. As well as all the long-term courses out there, there are thousands of short courses and classes you can take once, or at your leisure, to see if you’re enjoying yourself and if it’s right for you. When searching for your perfect course match, there are never any strings attached: you’re doing it for yourself, and so everything is always on your own terms.
If you’re interested in a potential match but aren’t sure you want to commit, you can read reviews others have written about the course or even chat to the provider themselves about what the course actually entails, and figure from there whether it would be a neat fit or not.
But what if we have nothing in common?
Thought windsurfing would change your life, but instead only gave you a cold? Alas, my friends, it happens. We’ve all thought that guy seemed nice until we went out for dinner and he told us we look exactly like his ex-wife. This is part and parcel of trying new things: we’re taking a risk, and unfortunately more often than not they don’t work out. But this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t try. How would you ever have discovered your secret penchant for piano, pottery or digital animation if you didn’t take the plunge and give it a go? The buzz written all over your face once you find the course for you will be well worth all the not-so-hot endeavours, we promise.
What should I wear?
As far as a course match goes, love is blind. You can wear whatever you like so long as it’s appropriate for what you’re doing. The course will love you anyway.
If you’re keen on getting behind a stove, you’ll need to wear an apron and closed, comfortable shoes. You’ll need your gym kit for any kind of exercise class, whilst a course in business will simply require your mind (and probably a pen and paper). Budding painter? Don a smock. Burgeoning DIY buff? Get yourself some thick rubber gloves and whatever else the particulars of your poison call for.
What if what I see doesn’t match the picture?
Committing to something online always requires a sort of leap of faith. Thankfully, you can find almost anything on the internet, so a quick Google and image search will give you enough of a sense of what you’re getting yourself into to let you make an informed decision. And, if that isn’t enough, you can always get in touch with the provider or venue and ask as many questions as your heart desires.
So, what now?
Switch off the telly and start scouting ideas for which type of new experience you’d like to try first. Close your eyes and imagine the smile on your face when you get to post pictures of yourself having just as much fun as your friends. Soon, you’ll be the person to be jealous of.
Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.