This Student Completed 69 Online Courses During Quarantine, Here’s How She Did It

IMAGE Courtesy of Nadine Villaret

With normal routines being shaken up, many of us have probably struggled to stay productive. We don’t know for certain when the pandemic is going to die down so we’re left feeling anxious about our lack of control over things.

One medical student, Nadine Villaret, from Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health has an inspiring, albeit funny, story of dealing with uncertainty: She decided to take a whopping 69 online courses to stay productive. “The pandemic caused me so much anxiety, and I tried to combat it by staying productive,” Nadine shares in an interview over Facebook. “Many of us in medical school work so hard because we want to be good doctors for our future patients. However, I’d be lying if I said that we don’t get demotivated at times.”

“That’s when online courses came along,” she continued. “The courses I took were about topics that I was interested in, so learning them was no problem. It was a good break from feeling like I had to stuff my brain every time I opened my books and transes, and after a while, it gave me a better appreciation of the impact of my future profession.”


“The first course I enrolled in was Psychological First Aid from John Hopkins University,” Nadine shares. “[My thesis mate] just finished the course and invited us to try it out, especially since the subject was related to our thesis [which] was published in the International Journal of Culture and Mental Health. It is entitled The role of Filipino masculine ideology on the adaptive coping, psychological well-being, and vicarious trauma of first responders.” You can read more about their thesis here.

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On taking 69 online courses

After completing her first course, Nadine went on to take a couple more since there wasn’t any assurance that their exams would push through as scheduled. She ended up taking a total of 69 online courses. You might think that 69 is such a random number, but Nadine shares that there’s actually a funny story behind it. “The main and honest reason I went to accomplish this particular number of certificates is because my friends challenged me to do so,” she says. “One particular friend said, and I quote, ‘G hahaha para laughtrip headlines, ‘Babae, naka 69.’” 


Jokes aside, Nadine’s got some serious passion for the courses she took. “The courses I enrolled in are in a variety of fields. Some are for understanding health systems and global health,” she shares. “I also enrolled in courses for personal development, psychology, and other fields that I’m either passionate about or fields that I have always been interested in learning such as sustainability, fashion, ecology, etc.”

In case you’re curious, here are all 69 courses Nadine took:

Where she learned about online courses

You might think that it sounds a bit ~expensive~ to take sooo many online courses, but Nadine shares that almost all these were *free*. “The only course I had to pay for to get a certificate was the course, Lessons From Ebola: Preventing the Next Pandemic by Harvard University,” Nadine says.


Thankfully, Nadine was kind enough to share the links where she learned about these online courses, in case anyone else wants to enroll. “I want everyone to be able to take advantage of this opportunity that’s on limited time. We shouldn’t gatekeep learning because it should never be a privilege, but it is a right.” You may check here, here, and here for a list of free online courses!

On balancing online courses with her actual school work 

It’s a bit intimidating to think of accomplishing so many online courses while you’re studying for exams, in med school, no less. Here, Nadine shares the habits she practiced that allowed her to accomplish her online courses while in med school.


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