Be productive or procrastinate

Jesse Sears

Today’s rapidly evolving Internet has led to powerful tools to aid students in their academic life, as well as some truly awesome ways to waste their valuable study time. Here’s a list of some websites to aid you in your study, or if you prefer, your procrastination.

LexisNexis is a powerful database and search tool for nearly all the world’s major news sources, useful legal documents and court rulings. Access to the database is expensive, but CSUN students and faculty are given free access through the library’s webpage. Use it as a first stop for research papers, or as a one stop shop to follow the goings-on in the world at large.

Making and sticking to a budget as a starving student can be almost as frustrating as the alternative: Worrying about money incessantly. Mint is a free service that makes the hard work a whole lot easier. The interface is a whole lot more user-friendly than something like Quicken, and Mint will interface with your bank’s online banking system so that you know exactly how your budget is working out, in real time. You can even categorize and track spending habits simply based on what you charge to your credit or debit cards. Success!

Computer software, be it for something as simple as word processing or some more specialized application like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Photoshop, is often far too expensive for the typical student. An alternative to stealing software and running the risk of destroying your computer is to look for open source alternatives. Open source means the programming code is open to anyone, and these programs are free to use, legally!

Lolcats. You’ve probably seen them posted on MySpace or floating around here and there. Those adorable pictures of cute ‘kittehs’ with hilarious captions spelled out’mdash;poorly’mdash; in broken English. Well, is their source, and it is officially the most awesome site on the internet. Make sure to check out the links at the top of the page for sister sites Failblog and Engrish for more hysterical laughter and poorly spent hours of your life.

Zophar’s Domain
Have you ever wanted to play all your old favorite Nintendo, Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis games without searching the attic or dropping a whole bunch of money on eBay? Whether you use PC or Mac, Zophar’s Domain is full of classic game machine emulators, so you have no excuse not to relive all your classic Zelda fantasies until you fail all your classes.

Craigslist Missed Connections
Surely by now you have heard of Craigslist, that internet uber-classifieds site of somewhat shady fame. Did you know that in the ‘Personals’ section, there is a place to shout at the young woman you tripped over on purpose while she was sunning at the beach, then blushed out and didn’t ask for her phone number? Some missed connections are sweet, others are hilarious. Who knows, you might even find someone looking for you!