Alt. Media Monday: Three Easy and Free Ways to Procrastinate Studying on the Internet

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With a little over a week left of scheduled classes, the reality of finals has finally kicked in for most students.

While it is probably a good idea to crack open a textbook every once in a while during the coming two weeks, it’s also important to remember to take a break. Luckily, the internet is full of ways to step away from the ever-growing number of projects and assignments that pile up at the end of the year.

At some point in time, you should also probably take a step away from your computer and maybe go outside and feel the sunshine — maybe go on a hike or two for a full recharge. But if you’re simply looking for a quick hour-long break in between class loads, the internet is here to help.

Oregon Trail

Remember Oregon Trail? That one educational video game made in the ’80s where players become a part of a wagon train heading west in the 1800s and then half the people who come with your party get sick with dysentery and die? Well now you can relive all of your elementary school glory by playing this game. Take a much needed break from studying, shoot some buffalo and try to keep your friends alive.

Play Oregon Trail for free here: archive.org/details/msdos_Oregon_Trail_The_1990. Before playing, you have to create a free account and, if you’re not an avid gamer, download some basic software to play.

Approx. Procrastination Time: 1 hour per game

8tracks

Like its better-known counterpart Pandora, this website presents users with highly specialized playlists created around searches. Unlike the other streaming service, though, 8tracks is full of playlists crafted by the users themselves, creating hyper-focused sets of centered around everything from songs that are explicitly about queer girls to those with a vaguely witchy feel to them. Unlike other streaming websites, you can listen to the same sets of songs over again, skip up to three songs per playlist on each listen, and there are much fewer commercials. The standard I’ve come across is about one or two every day or so.

The playlists are free for everyone to listen to without signing up, but to create your own playlists and save any you’re a fan of, you have to sign up for a free account. Once you’re on, feel free to make that perfect study playlist or gather all of the songs that remind you of the mountains. There is literally no limit on what you can create on this website.

Approx. Procrastination Time: 20 minutes to two hours, depending on how developed your idea for a playlist is already.

HBO GO

It may seem as if all college does is take and take without giving anything back. But, finally, your education is going to give something back to you of actual value — a HBO GO account. While HBO is free for anyone living on campus with a TV, the online account is free and open to any current students on campus. It’s almost as if the U is asking for students to put off their homework in mass.

To log in to HBO GO with a UID, visit hbogo.com and select sign in. When the site asks you to select your television provider, select “University of Utah” and hit continue. Then just use your regular UID and password and finish your sign-up by making up a username and email.

Approx. Procrastination Time: However long it takes to get through the latest season of “Veep.”

k.ehmann@dailyutahchronicle.com

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