Procrastinating: Using The Internet To "Study"

Exams at my university are ending and I have found so many ways to procrastinate this year. Being a student the most important thing to learn is how to waste your precious youth, right? Here are some of my favourite sites to kill time when I don't feel like being productive. Don't worry. Everybody needs to "study" from time to time.

1. StumbleUpon

This site for me is definitely a staple in my efforts to procrastinate. I have a wide variety of interests and StumbleUpon (SU) allows me to browse everything at once. Finding pages you like may take a some tweaking to your preferences but eventually it will only be great page after great page. I can easily kill a few hours on SU.

It is a filtered version of Reddit. The pages you may see anything from videos, music, games or articles. It all comes down to what interests you. 

Check it out here.

2. HackerRank

Depending on what courses I am currently taking in university I may or may not use HackerRank to kill time. If I have a lot of coding work to do for class I tend to avoid HackerRank but it is a fantastic way to kill time if you enjoy coding. 

This is a great way to learn programming, sharpen your analytical skills and ultimately kill a lot of time. Pick your programming language of choice (Java, C/C++, Python, etc.) and start writing code to solve a whole host of provided problems. You can also learn about Artificial Intelligence, Databases and a whole host of other computer science topics. There is even the option to enter competitions to win prizes. You can also apply for developer jobs from the site.

Build your brain, resume and kill time? What isn't there to love?

I go into more detail about HackerRank here.

3. Jamendo

Music is something I love. Whenever I am doing something that doesn't need my ears I have headphones on listening to tunes. One major problem is that I have a very diverse taste of music and struggle to find a compromise between buying music and listening to stuff I already have.

Jamendo lets me download massive amounts of good music for free. Completely free, no strings attached. People create music, people upload said music, people download and listen. No money changes hands (unless you want the music for commercial use). Stream or download as much as you want.

Check it out here.

4. LMMS + Samples

I find that there is no other way to kill time like creating something. This is, in my opinion, the best way to waste time. If you are a musician it is really easy, if you aren't just play what sounds nice. 

Linux Multimedia Studio (LMMS) is a piece of software that is for Windows, OS X and Linux that will allow users to connect either their computer keyboards, mice or MIDI devices to your computer to create music. This is a free, open source version of Fruity Loops. When I record or compose I almost exclusively use LMMS. 

If you are a musician, making your own tracks from scratch will be pretty easy since it is a close to point and shoot as you can get. For the less musically inclined I would suggest looking for samples online and smashing them together. A lot of popular musicians rely heavily on samples so hey, so can you.

The other night I spent 3 hours playing around with samples while procrastinating studying for my exam the next afternoon. This form of procrastination at least has some output at the end so it isn't a complete waste of time.

You can download LMMS from here.


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