Stumble to better homework

By Samara Abramson

Tipperary Institute/Flickr

I decided that procrastination is a part of the studying process. Everyone procrastinates, whether he or she wants to admit to it or not, and we all have our own unique ways of doing so. I would guess that the three most common procrastination techniques are Facebook, Twitter and reading emails. After a while, however, these three tabs become painfully redundant and horribly boring. There is nothing new in your news feed, no one has tweeted in an hour and you haven’t received an email all day. I, for one, became extremely bored of these websites and decided I needed something new and exciting to distract myself. I mean, assuming that procrastination is a part of the creative process, I might as well make it meaningful and interesting, right?

I decided to create a StumbleUpon account. My roommate warned me that the website is addictive, and she was right. I could waste hours looking at beautiful photographs, travel destinations, food recipes, puppies and more. When editing your settings, you are allowed to choose specific interests. I checked off almost all of them, just so I could have the right amount of variety. My favorite category, however, is “Quotes.” You can choose to exclusively view a particular category at one time, and so it is now common for my interest box to be customized solely to “Quotes.” I click on the “Stumble” icon and websites full of quotations appear. I love it!

As a writer, I have always been in love with words. The other day, I stumbled upon this quote by Marcel Pagnol that has now become one of my favorites: “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” It’s an honest fact that allows the reader to feel optimistic about the past, the present and the future. College students are always concerned about the future, as we are here to earn a degree that will hopefully lead us into our professional futures. The quote suggests that in order to figure out our futures, we need to move on from the past and live for today; then we are able to choose our own destinies.

I collected a list of my 10 favorite quotes that I found on StumbleUpon and saved them as a file that I can now open whenever I am having a bad day. I think it is important for students to take a break from studying and procrastinate by doing something enjoyable and inspirational – something other than going on Facebook, Twitter or checking email. If I am experiencing writer’s block, procrastinating sometimes helps me to figure out what I am truly trying to say and can help me complete my homework more fully.

Aside from inspirational quotations, I have also found a few other websites on StumbleUpon that I enjoy looking at during my procrastination study breaks. I have found online cookbooks, fashion blogs and photography collections. Looking at these sites that I have found by stumbling helps me relax after so many hours of writing, reading, memorizing and calculating.

I think everyone should consider creating an account, as I have already begun to learn and absorb a lot. StumbleUpon can also help with projects and research sometimes. A few weeks ago, I was assigned by my journalism professor to find an interesting graphic on the Internet and present it in front of the class. At the time, I didn’t really know what StumbleUpon was, but had I known, the graphic I presented in front of my class would have been much more exciting. I could have stumbled to find a graphic or photographic or interactive blog. Instead, I presented a mediocre fashion blog. I plan to use StumbleUpon for similar assignments in the future. I think other students should consider it as well.

Samara Abramson can be reached at [email protected]