The internet is a dark, fetid place, with temptations hiding around every corner—pornography, illicit pharmaceuticals, and an inane galaxy of mind-numbing, soul-sucking blogs—making it the biggest, most wicked tree of knowledge since Eden.
If you insist on connecting your computer to this minefield of temptation—via your dorm's high-speed connection, no doubt—the least I can do is help you navigate.
You can connect with fellow Christians and bloviate about yourself, your friends, and your resounding love for our Savior at MySpace (www.myspace.com), LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com) and Facebook (www.facebook.com). All are good places to set up an account, which you can use to form study/prayer groups, vent about your worst professor, or convince other young adults to accept the Lord into their lives. (Friendster, however, is so 2003.)
Seattle has a few sites devoted to helping newcomers and locals negotiate safely and efficiently through the city. The Seattle Community on LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com/community/seattle) is a great place to ask for a dry-cleaner recommendation or warn your fellow citizens of the impending Armageddon. (Most local schools, like UW and Seattle University, have their own LJ communities for campus-specific inquiries and proselytizing.) Group blogs Seattlest (www.seattlest.com) and Metroblogging Seattle (seattle.metblogs.com) are both dependable sources for general city blather. And don't forget The Stranger(www.thestranger.com)—and the Slog (www.thestranger.com/blog), Seattle's beloved moral guide to news, arts, and culture.
Some "fundamentalists" say the faithful should avoid politics, but 2 Peter 2:10 tells us that those who "despise government" also walk "in the lust of uncleanness," so take a shower and bookmark BetterDonkey.org, HorsesAss.org, and SoundPolitics.org. All three offer daily doses of drivel, from the left, the left, and the right, respectively.
If you're more of a music fan, look to the Vera Project (www.theveraproject.org), Seattle's best all-ages concert hall. And if The Stranger's voluminous music coverage isn't enough for you, check out Three Imaginary Girls (www.threeimaginarygirls.com) for more reviews and gossip.
Don't have a car? Seattle has a good bus system. Bus Monster (www.busmonster.com) will tell you when the next Metro 13 rolls past your dormitory. Don't have money to spend on new music? Seattle also has an internationally worshipped independent radio station. Log on to KEXP (www.kexp.org) for webcasts of the "hot new shit," as the kids say.
Back on campus, you should be studying. You probably know about SparkNotes (sparknotes.com) from your high-school days. But have you heard about Google (www.google.com)? It's a great site for general web-based research, and it's useful for avoiding a plagiarism bust (some T.A. is going to try to catch you by Googling a sentence or two, to see whom you stole it from).
After the library closes, you can have a little fun. If an attractive young student, fresh from the Tri-Cities, has ensnared your eye, tread carefully. Before you get your hopes up, check out Age of Consent (www.ageofconsent.com) to make sure it's legal. God will never approve, but you can at least make sure state law does.
If you like your roommates, give them pleasant gifts from BuyOlympia.com, a well-stocked webstore full of local artisanal (or "indie") goods. And if you hate your roommates? Find new ones on The Stranger's classifieds site (classifieds.thestranger.com/seattle). Or, consider buying something there—say, a drum kit or a chinchilla—to drive your roomie away.
And if you are tempted by the evils of alcohol, the least you can do is be thrifty. For a guide to the city's penny-saving happy hours, see the Seattle Happy Hour Guide (www.seattletravel.com/seattle-happyhour-ballard.htm).