So, you’re a budding games developer, with your sights set high in the world of next-generation games consoles, VR and being the next Playstation rock star. It’s a fantastic ambition, and one which is going to require hours, days, months, even years of dedication. However, that’s not all that your life is about – you’ve got your academic career to think of too. How on earth do you achieve a successful balance of these two – seemingly quite different – worlds?

You’re not alone, for starters. In many countries, up to two-thirds of university students balance their studies with a part-time job of some sorts. Whether that involves complex coding or working behind a shop counter, knowing how to bring your academic studies in line with your money-making plans is of massive importance, and not something to overlook lightly.

As ever, we’re on hand to give you some top tips for striking the right balance in this regard. By following our advice, you’ll be able to keep your computer games dreams alive while also getting your essays, coursework assignments and dissertations handed in on time, and achieving those top grades you’ll be needing no matter what path in life you choose to take.

 

  • Make a plan of action and stick to it

 

The first thing any keen games developer will need to figure out while at university is how to manage their time effectively. There’ll always be a sweet spot between the hours you need to dedicate to your games, and the hours you’ll need to spend focusing on your coursework. If you can make a daily schedule which accounts for both successfully, you’ll be halfway to reaching the successes you dream of.

However, this isn’t always easy – especially if you enjoy one side of your dual life more than the other. The fact of the matter is, both your academics and your budding gaming career are of equal importance, and need to be treated with a common sense approach which is going to work with both sides equally. Make a plan, and stick to it the best you can.

  1.   Capitalize on your Uni’s flexibility

Many colleges and universities nowadays understand that their students have lives outside of the classroom. If your college offers night classes or weekend courses as a viable alternative to their regular daytime schedule, this might allow you to manage your time a whole lot more successfully.

  1. Work smarter, not necessarily harder

There are thousands of great tips and pieces of advice out there when it comes to studying smarter and saving yourself time. It could be something as simple as making more effective, colour-coded notes in your classes, to save you hours of research time when you come to write up your thesis. Or how about taping your lectures, and then listening to them on your way to your games office (if you have one), or on your way home from uni? Use index cards, make the most of study apps, do your homework in the otherwise dead hours you’d normally spend watching TV… there are so many time-saving techniques out there that will free up a surprising number of hours for you to dedicate to your game developer career – try them out, and see how they suit you!

  1. Stay on top of your stress levels

It’s a cruel irony that the busier and more stressed you get, the less effective and valuable the work you produce will be. If you’re panicking over hitting deadlines with your college work, or finding yourself stuck for hours on a piece of gaming code, the chances are your stress levels will be going through the roof… and those problems are just going to get worse and worse. Look after your health, ensure you’re getting up to eight hours of sleep a night, and fit some exercise into your routine – even if it’s just a 20 minute walk or jog in the mornings. These simple steps will massively increase your productivity levels, and help you hit that optimum balance.

  1. Don’t hesitate to ask for help

Here at EssayPro, we understand that college students have priorities outside of their academic studies. For games developers, there are simply going to be moments when your essays and papers have to take a back seat to your burgeoning gaming career… and it isn’t something to worry or feel bad about.

With the help of an expert essay writing service, you can have your papers written up for you in no time at all, freeing up plenty of hours for you to dedicate to your job. Our academic paper writers will imitate your writing style, work with you to ensure the essay is written to the highest standards, and can guarantee the grade you want in the timescale you need. The result? Less stress, more time for your other priorities, and a thoroughly more fulfilling university experience.

  1. Prioritize all the time

If you’re juggling a game developer career and university degree, you’re going to have a lot on your plate – there’s little doubt about that! If this is the case for you, you’re going to have to learn to prioritize, and probably make a handful of sacrifices along the way.

On the one hand, you’ll have to prioritize your workload. Is that gaming project going to bring more rewards if you get it finished this week, or can your college work not wait a moment longer before it bites you in the leg? Do you have to go to the pub with your roommates again this week, or can it wait until tomorrow once you’ve got this block of work done? Start each week with a list of things you need to do, and rank them in order of importance. In order to live the life you’re attempting, organisation and fixing priorities is going to make all the difference.

  1. Reward your successes

It’s really important to recognise when you’ve achieved something, and give yourself a proper pat on the back from time to time. It’s all part of remembering why you’re passionate about your game developing or academic career, and why you set off on this path in the first place. If you’ve ticked off a big chunk of your ‘to do’ list for the day or week, reward yourself with something you enjoy – a trip to a cafe for a decent coffee and a slice of cake, perhaps, or a night off to go to the cinema or have a beer with your friends. This can really motivate you, and allow you to keep track of how well you’re doing.

  1. Use your holidays wisely

Remember, school and university holidays are a break from academia… not a break from real life. If you’re serious about your career as a games developer, summer holidays and spring breaks etc are a time to really knuckle down with the other side of your life away from your studies. Squander that time on lazing around at your parents’ house and forgetting all your cares may sound like a tempting prospect, but you’ll drag yourself back to your classes once it all kicks off again feeling frustrated at your lack of willpower.

Greg Micek

Greg Micek

Editor at Cliqist
Greg Micek has been writing on and off about games since the late nineties, always with a focus on indie games. He started DIYGames.com in 2000, which was one of the earliest gaming sites to focus exclusively on indie games.
Greg Micek

@cliqist

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Greg Micek
Greg Micek
Greg Micek
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