Arcadia High School

The procrastinator’s guide to a slightly more productive time wasting

We’ve all been there: that moment when you finally realize that you’ve been reading the same sentence over and over for the past five minutes, and you’re still not quite sure what it says.

So then you tell yourself, “Hey, why not,” and decide to take a short break. Just a short break. Before you know it, it’s two hours later and you haven’t accomplished anything at all.

Next time you need to take a break, instead of wasting those two hours scrolling on Facebook or Instagram or Tumblr, give these sites a shot.

> If you want to help end world hunger, at no cost to you, check out FREERICE.COM – Expand your English vocabulary. Or test your knowledge in chemistry. Or world geography. Or any of the other 18 subjects. (There’s even a section made specifically for SAT prep!) Freerice.com is a great site to check out not only to help keep your mind sharp, but to help make a difference in the world as well. For every correct answer that you give, the site donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme in an effort to help end world hunger.

> If you’re hungry and have stuff in your fridge, check out MYFRIDGEFOOD.COM – Find recipes that you can make with whatever you have in your fridge. (The recipes even come with nutrition facts!) Yum.

> If you want to learn a new language, or get help in your language class, check out DUOLINGO.COM – Ever
wanted to learn a new language? Perhaps one that’s not offered at your school? Duolingo.com is a free website that teaches foreign languages in a manner similar to that of the Rosetta Stone programs. You can also use Duolingo to expand your vocabulary in a language that you’re currently taking in school—they have placement tests for more advanced learners, and the program makes for a pretty good supplement to in-school learning. The best part is, if your friends also make accounts, you can all compare your progress in a weekly leaderboard. (Duolingo also has an app that you can download for easy access!)

> If you’re an artist or graphic designer, check out DEGRAEVE.COM – Simply copy and paste any image URL in the bar, and the site will make a color palette for you based on the picture you’ve chosen!

> If you love mythology, check out GODCHECKER.COM – Are you a mythology fan? This is a really great web
site if you want to learn about lore from any pantheon of the world. I kid you not. Every pantheon. You can search the database of deities by name, or by element. Can’t remember the name of the Finnish god of thunder? No problem. Just search “thunder,” and Godchecker.com will present you with the name of every thunder god in existence, organized by the culture they hail from. Each deity also comes with a brief description, along with a summary of any major legends they are associated with.

> If you want to learn something cool and useful, check out MAHALO.COM – Literally learn anything. The site has tons of how-to guides, including things like “How to Sleep Better,” “How to Dance,” and “How to Unwind with Yoga.” They also have some pretty neat articles under their education section about the college admissions process. So you can also check those out.

> If you need synonyms, check out WORDHIPPO.COM – An infinitely more friendly way to look up words than
thesaurus.com. (Because what’s more better than a chubby pink hippo?) The best part: Wordhippo can give you definitions, find words that rhyme for you, translate things, pronounce things, or tell you where names originated from.

> If you’re a music-lover, check out RETROJ.AM – Enter in your birth year, and it’ll make you a playlist of all the songs that were popular at different times of your life. Get ready to be hit with a major blast of nostalgia. And then resume studying while you have your nostalgic playlist (Hint: looking to make a mixtape for your music-loving parents or other relatives? This’ll be a grand help with that!)

> If you’ve got that song stuck in your head, but don’t know the name of it, check out MIDOMI.COM. Just hum for a few seconds (you need a microphone for this to work!) and the site will search for the song by its tune.

Of course procrastination is a terrible habit that you should try to break yourself out of, but hey—we all need a break sometimes. And these sites are pretty worth your while.