You’re in school. You study hard. When you get home, you decide to play video games. No problem, right? Until someone tells you to stop wasting your time, that is.
There’s a great misconception that education and entertainment are inherent enemies, as if anything with “fun” as its core goal saps away everything you recently learned—or perhaps you’ll never put down that controller ever again and spend the rest of your life addicted to video games.
It’s not as bad as it once was, because of how prevalent games are now. They’re no longer the province of kids alone.
Still, sometimes the implication remains: pick school or video games. You can’t have both.
Sure you can.
Video games won’t take over your life, and gamers don’t automatically become delinquents. Gaming is a hobby, just like reading, basketball, crocheting, or whatever else you choose to spend your free time on. It’s actually healthy to take some time to relax and unwind with something you enjoy. Like any hobby, the key is moderation.
The temptation is to spend hours playing games and forget everything else (especially if it’s something really immersive, like a long RPG or your favorite online multiplayer game), but resist it! Make sure you don’t lose track of your other responsibilities. If you have homework, do that first. If there’s a test the next day, make sure you study.
Here’s the best part. While that might sound on the surface like no fun—putting homework and studying first?!—it actually leads to more fun. Why? If you play first, you’ll eventually have to stop for homework. Who wants to quit a game to do homework? At best, you’ll be annoyed. At worst, you’ll ignore your homework and keep playing.
If you do your homework or studying first, however, you have nothing to worry about. You can play your game without stopping, and if anyone questions you, honestly say, “I finished my homework.”
Who knows? You might learn something, too! I remembered what a “Panopticon” was on a standardized test solely because of a game I played. Or how obsidian was formed thanks to minecraft…
Anyway, the bottom line is that you can enjoy video games while still doing well in school. All you have to do is know your priorities and place a borderline. Let leisure be leisure and prioritize your priorities!
Do you enjoy video games? What, if any, obstacles have you encountered? Do you have a strategy for balancing your time? Let me know in the comments.