Thought Catalog has everything from entertaining lists to hard-hitting editorials, which combine to make a website perfect for procrastination.
Now that the election is over and social media has calmed down a bit (for the most part), college writers and journalists might need another outlet for amusement when aimlessly perusing the Internet.
Instead of wasting precious time and killing your brain cells by scrolling through pictures of an acquaintance’s latest vacation, spend your study breaks on these informative yet entertaining sites.
1. Thought Catalog
Thought Catalog, established in 2009, has a reputation for having some of the snarkiest writing on the Web and perhaps being “too sincere for the Internet.”
This Web journal, created by 26-year-old Ryan O’Connell, presents itself as a non-fiction, sarcastic and clutter-free site with relevant and relatable authors that are mix of regular and contributing writers. These writers create an eclectic body of work ranging from entertaining lists (such as “20 Things I Miss About Being in my 20s“) to hard-hitting editorials (“A Daughter of Suicide“). The TC is essential for those who may think that good writing has to be serious to be respected. Reading just one of the website’s 7,500 articles will nullify this stigma fairly quickly.
BONUS: Contributing to Thought Catalog is as easy as uploading your article to the submissions section. While they cannot publish all pieces, the ones that make the cut are featured on the site along with a bio about the writer (you!).
Masked behind a cartoonish homepage, CollegeHumor.com showcases some of the wittiest writing on the Internet. The entertainment site was created in 1999 by two college-aged friends and quickly rose to fame. It is known for its original videos (CH Originals) as well as its humorous articles that include essays, comics, interviews and columns.
Like the name suggests, the site appeals to college students and post-grads as well as people who simply enjoy reading articles with topics that poke fun at all things college, including freshmen orientation and social media. Despite the joking nature of the articles, the writing on College Humor is smartly written. Spending hours on this site is not only entertaining, but it’s also a way to challenge serious writers to let loose without compromising style.
BONUS: Like what you see? CollegeHumor has an editorial internship for college students that live in the greater New York area.
3. Local news outlets
While keeping up with current events isn’t a chore for most student journalists, you may not find every piece of news interesting and relevant to you. The solution to reading through boring story after boring story without being entertained is simple: Read your hometown news website. Take a break from CNN and read about the intense city council race or an act of violence that took place down the street from your elementary school. Although it seems like common sense, many people overlook the fact that local news can be more mentally stimulating because it is more salient to our personal lives. Most local news outlets often make writers give their stories a local angle, which is essentially the best of both worlds, news-wise.
BONUS: With the recent popularity of backpack journalism, many of the stories that reporters write (in addition to their video stories or photos) may not be as strictly edited as a story that is only meant for print. Luckily for writers, one of the best ways to become a better writer is to edit other writing. So feel free to get your red pen out and go to town.
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