|Perhaps this suggestion is out of place, but I'll make it anyway... If you can somehow afford Lightroom ($99 with student discount) then buy it.
I'm convinced it was NOT written by Adobe programmers. It is fast, VERY powerful, industrial strength, intuitive and duck soup easy to use. It is those last two features that convinces me Adobe did not write it. :) As we all know, Photoshop involves a lifetime commitment to learning. Lightroom does not. It is easy and blows away Bridge.
I have about 70,000 images cataloged, organized and fully keyworded for searches using LR and it purrs like a kitten.