One day, I was feeling nostalgic for video games that I played growing up. From child-friendly Crash Bandicoot to violent Mortal Kombat (I have an older brother to thank for that), I longed to play these games again but I no longer owned the gaming consoles to play them. My mind instantly turned to PC gaming as an alternative – maybe a few titles have been remastered for PC? I haven’t stopped gaming on my computer since.
Video games have an infamous reputation for being a mode of distraction, especially for students. For me though, it helps me stay afloat throughout the hundreds of readings and term work I have to do every week. After a long day at the library, I would go home and play video games to unwind. Now I know that the format and style of some video games can make playing more time-consuming (Valorant, I’m looking at you). Yakuza 2 Kiwami is a highly enjoyable but time-consuming game for me. So, when I know I have to get a lot of work done on a given day, I put it off and usually play it on a day where I’m freer or have a lighter workload.
I’m terrible at video games, for the most part; I still play to plug myself into a different world, to give myself a break from the long hours of studying I put myself through. Not everything that’s fun has to be considered a distraction. Video games, for me, are like mental fuel; they recharge me for the next study session. When I do back-to-back studying with little time for hobbies in between, I find myself dreading the next time I have to spend time on homework. I end up procrastinating and I would remind myself of that burnout feeling I got after studying consecutively. Video gaming prevents me from experiencing burnout and keeps me in a steady flow for school.
Although I want to clarify that I achieve this balance by planning out my week – recording deadlines for assignments and figuring out what days work best to dedicate to studying. For instance, I do most of my studying on my days off where I don’t have lectures. When I do have lectures, I limit my studying to be lighter so I’m not overwhelmed by the countless hours of sitting and absorbing class material. If I didn’t keep myself aware of my weekly workload then video gaming would just add to the problem of procrastination and getting overwhelmed. But if done right, hobbies can be utilized to keep your studying habits in check.
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