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Friday, December 01, 2023 — Houston, TX

21 different websites to spice up your study breaks

Illustrated by Ndidi Nwosu

By Ariana Moshiri     3/30/21 10:10pm

The internet is a wonderful and weird place. And since, especially now, we’re forced to spend almost the entirety of our day online, why not use the internet for ways to take new and creative study breaks? Here is a list of websites that can help you feel better while studying or while taking a break from it.

1. “Make Everything OK” Button: This website is a cute way to have a quick mental break, especially when you’re feeling really stressed or anxious. It literally is just a button, and pressing it can help you realize that everything is and will be okay. 

2. Garden Bubble Cam and Button: One family with a house in South Florida has a bubble machine with a 24/7 livestream camera. Press the button any time of the day to watch a 30-second blast of bubbles in their garden — another quick way to take your mind off of whatever you’re working on.

3. Allolo.ru; Silent Noise of Nature: Allolo.ru provides a wide variety of serene scenes accompanied by calming music sounds. This website is great both for background noise while studying and for a small break. Since each option lasts a couple of minutes, it could be paired well with a small, timed study break.

4. Oddly Satisfying Subreddit: Scrolling through this subreddit for a few minutes will make you feel like all is right in the universe — and that sounds like the best thing to feel in the middle of cramming for an organic chemistry exam. Just make sure you set a timer and stick to it, otherwise, you might be on this page for hours. You’ve been warned. (My personal favorite post on this subreddit has to be these otters being cute and clean.) 

5. WeaveSilk: WeaveSilk is a great way to make mindlessly beautiful art and detach from whatever is on your mind. Immerse yourself in creating mesmerizing drawings with a variety of color and symmetry options. (Pro tip: Use this as a way to practice meditative art for an especially peaceful break from work.)

6. Lofi hip-hop radio - beats to relax/study to: This YouTube radio station has Lo-fi beats playing 24/7 and many thousands of viewers. Visit this station if you're looking for consistent background noise while studying or trying to actively destress, without the hassle of having to choose your own music.

7. Partridge Gets Lucky: This website is one of my personal favorites. I love jamming out with Partridge for a few moments; sometimes, even when I am definitely not in the mood to do a little dance, I make myself vibe with Patridge and it effectively makes me feel better. Get yourself moving and add some positivity to a stressful study routine with this website.

8. Chillest Monkey: As an alternative to grooving with Partridge, chill with this monkey for a few moments while you breathe, meditate or do anything else. (We should all aspire to be as relaxed as this guy.)

9. Pointer Pointer: Put your pointer anywhere on the screen to find a picture of someone pointing at your pointer. There seems to be a never-ending collection of hilarious, adorable and very creative images of different individuals aiming at just about every pixel on your computer. 

10. This Is Sand: This website is another way to make satisfying art and destress — this time with colorful sand. Feel free to take it seriously and create a masterpiece or just mindlessly sprinkle sand around as you shift your focus away from your work. 

11. Neon Flames: An alternative to sand and silk, this website lets you make a galaxy with different glowing colors. Create some art that looks nice and feels nice; with just a tap of your fingers, you can get lost in a dazzling world of light and swirls.

12. A Soft Murmur: Described as “ambient sounds to wash away distractions,” this website provides just that. Check out the wide variety of sounds available that are well-suited to playing in the background while studying, especially if you’re someone who can’t focus well in complete silence. These relaxing sounds could also accompany break time and help you focus on being in the moment as you stretch, meditate or just take a pause from thinking about work.

13. Explore LiveCams: LiveCams provide a visual background accompaniment while you study (or try to not study). There are a large number of livestream options, mostly showing feeds of animals or nature. And who wouldn’t want to watch a bunch of kittens playing at a sanctuary? Or penguins chilling at penguin beach? These are guaranteed to make any problem set just a bit better.

14. Do Nothing For 2 Minutes: As the self-explanatory title suggests, this website tells you to do literally nothing for two minutes; you’re not allowed to touch any keys or move your cursor; otherwise, the timer resets. Watch and listen to the waves to give yourself a mental break. This website is brought to you by the Calm meditation app in hopes of encouraging small, daily meditative practices. 

15. Quick, Draw!: “Can a neural network learn to recognize doodling?” Play a super quick game of Pictionary with your computer; just start drawing the object you’re given and the AI you’re playing with will guess it with scary speed and accuracy. It’s a short and fun way to give yourself a little break. 

16. Akinator: Similarly, you can play a quick game with Akinator, the AI genie who will guess any character you’re thinking of, real or fictional. He usually identifies who you have in mind with scary accuracy, but regardless, it’s a fun way to destress alone or with study buddies. 

17. Chihuahua Spin: No explanation necessary; just click on the link. 

18. The Useless Web: This website is a little dangerous because it could send you down a long rabbit hole of randomness. But that’s sometimes necessary, right? You click on a button and it takes you to a random, useless and often hilarious website. It’s great for a good laugh that can last as long as you want — there’s a seemingly endless list of websites, so proceed with caution.

19. Window Swap: This website takes you to someone’s window and lets you “look outside” for as long as you please. It’s a good alternative to nature livestreams if they’re not totally your thing, and you can enjoy looking out of a window in Russia while working on your lab!

20. Drive and Listen: Explore the world while you study or relax — and this time not just through a window! This site takes you on a drive around a wide variety of cities you can choose from, while playing their local radio stations for a truly immersive experience. From Tokyo to Paris to Miami to Sao Paulo, you can do a road trip around the world from your bed!

21. lol my thesis: This website takes scholarly papers and re-titles them with simple, hilarious phrases. I think it’s important for us, as hard-working students, to sometimes shift our perspectives on all the challenging work we’re doing, reading and analyzing. This page makes for a good break away from all that, reminding us to look at the big picture while making us laugh. 

Bonus: Study Break Padlet: This Padlet provides a more comprehensive space for different resources and ways to take effective breaks. It’s worth checking out for further reading and website links beyond the 21 in this list! 

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