So you’ve hit the big times. You’ve moved out of your parents’ home and are now living in your own apartment/dorm, cramming for test after test, wondering how much money you have left on your meal-plan. Suddenly, a dilemma presents itself: How do you enjoy your beloved hobby without straining your studies and interpersonal relationships while at the same time making sure you have enough money to pay your tuition, rent, or whatever other regular expenditures present themselves?
Part 1: Time Management.
Due to the high demand of student life, you may be tempted to fall into several traps that many a student has plunged into head-first. The first and most lethal of the traps is the Pit of Time Management. For those of you who don’t have someone behind you the entire time, you’ll have to learn how to budget your time on your own, which takes quite a bit of practice I tell you what. Fortunately, you have several tools at hand to help you scale these perils. Your most important tool is also one of the most simple and less-than-sexy devices: The Schedule.
Whether digitalized in Outlook, sketched out on a whiteboard (like yours truly), or on the back cover of the journal that you keep by your bedside, the schedule will be your most handy defense to the demons of Procrastination, Idolatry, and Lackadaisicalness. Plan ahead. Write down what times you’re going to dedicate entirely to your studies, as well as physically setting out time exclusively for gaming. Like all good plans, a schedule is only as efficient as the person dedicating themselves to it. Sure…anyone can just WRITE what they’re going to do. But you’ve got to stick to your plans like stink on a skunk.
”But Jamal, you handsome devil you,” you may ask. ”If I’ve never budgeted my time on my own before, how can you expect me to stick to one right off the bat like this? You jerk.” Well, my rude reader, it’s quite simple: Practice. Suffice it to say that you WILL come across a few failures early on and fall flat on your face, putting off this and that in order to spend those precious few extra minutes to hours playing your favorite game. A common saying among gaming procrastinators? ”Just one more…” The best remedy to learn self-control? Failure.
Now, I’m not saying to go out there and actively try to fail. I swear to the multiple-tentacled being in the sky, if I get any letters from some Deans of Academic Affairs decrying my teachings of failure, I’m going to deny it up and down. All I’m telling you, my chums, is that you should always work for the best, but prepare for the worst. Here’s a handy rule of thumb to live your college life by: If you could stand to study for another hour, do it. The game will still be there when you finish.