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5 years of no gaming content, relapsing under stress


Kei Dou
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Hello. Last time i posted here was around mid-end 2015 and i have been free of gaming until now.

Since I quit gaming last time, I moved cities, found a decent full time job in IT, got in shape, decided to go back to uni to get an engineering degree (i failed out first time due to gaming) while still working full time, travelled a bunch in the annual leave breaks.

First 2 years of uni went alright, i had all HDs and decent project work.

Gradually work started getting more hectic with new products i had to learn to support, but I prioritised uni instead and kept falling behind. My boss at the time was super nice and kinda gave me a pass a lot of the time, but i was starting to spin wheels.

I started developing bad habits or stopped keeping up with the good ones to try stay on top of the marks.

I didn't realise how much of a marathon it would be rather than a sprint. It seems i had enough for 2 years but the degree is 4.

I thought I'd take a break from work and went to Taiwan to do an engineering internship at a research org. The trip was amazing, but savings were beginning to run out.

Came right back to an intense 3rd year semester of uni with 2 major project units. At the same time i got contacted by a recruiter from Google and passed the first online interview. Decided i was going to focus on it instead of looking for a (more realistic job opp). Had to juggle preparing for an in-person interview and finishing the projects.

I took the hints from the recruiter in a completely wrong way and my interview prep was all in vain. The interview was such a disconnect that the guy straight up cancelled whatever else they were going to put me through that day. This was more than a year ago and i still cringe at how bad it was, like how did i even get there, why didn't they screen better in online interview???

I was almost out of savings and hugely demoralised. I called my old boss literally 15 minutes after the interview and asked if i could get my job back. Luckily I could but I'd have start in a low place again and under a different manager.

The new boss is a bit of a micromanager...

I kept going with uni part time.

Corona hit and it was the first time i couldn't keep up with uni. We started working from home and it became so hard to stay motivated.

Working from home is also so impersonal, at least it turned out like that at my work. I used to talk shit with colleagues all the time and they are all great team players who would put me into a good mindset, they are passionate about what they do. I pretty much lost that support network to corona. Can't separate work from home anymore.

Never built an engineering studies support network, been lone wolfing it the entire time. Mainly because i didn't have time for social life anyway, and it was fine until then because i socialised at work.

My last project reports were honestly shit and the lecturer gave such terrible feedback(no sugar coating whatsoever to say the least) that i just quit the unit. I think i would've passed it but in the moment i felt like i wasn't going to. I still got an HD for one other unit but not without struggle.

My girlfriend lost her job due to corona as well. The place we were staying at became too expensive, and its benefits of being close to work/public transport/shops completely disappeared. So we moved to a cheaper apartment in between my studies.

This is southern hemisphere btw, Australia, so it's second semester now. I was really looking forward to the units in this semester originally. The move effected the first few weeks back to studying - i didn't do any. Felt so behind and under pressure that I decided to quit for the rest of this year.

During the last few months i watched so much junk YouTube and have not been dealing with stress like an adult... Even after quitting uni i couldn't stop the bad habits yet.

Finally, i got recommended some gaming videos on YouTube around last week and been watching them almost every day, unable to get out of vicious cycle.

Writing this down it looks like it was bound to happen. Even though I'm probably cherry picking the events and personal faults i think lead to this, I didn't really prepare for the marathon and i prioritised it over basic health upkeep at times. It's hard to step back and review until you realise something dramatic is happening. It took a long time to slowly spiral out to this. And even this level is still so much better than where i was before i joined here first time.

I have got to remember to be grateful for having a somewhat stable(hopefully) income at this time. I didn't go back to full gaming. I didn't go back to the original game i was obsessed with. I'm grateful I'm not alone.

Right now I've resolved to quit gaming again. Try and get some good habits going.

I want to become more resilient and less swayed by emotions/stress.

I want to reignite the passion that spurred me to get back to study in the first place. I only have one and a half years worth of uni left, I'll be going back next March. I want to prepare for it by getting better at academic writing.

I want to make some friends with similar goals, whether it's staying off gaming or self-improvement, or engineering/programming.

Hopeful, but it's still a lot of hard work. Let's go.

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Hey man. I read through your story and I sympathize with your situation. I also stopped gaming once before and managed to stay away for about 3-4 years before gaming again started to creep in my life. That period started great, I was achieving as never before and going forwards in my life. But times got tough, my parents went through a terrible divorce, my family all got mentally unstable, financial situation wasn't great, my university became highly politicized and galvanized, I was disappointed in some of my colleges with whom I organized student events, et cetera.

I got depressed and anxious, and gaming was back on the menu. And I wasted the next 3 years of my life because of it. It's really good you are here. Take my story as a warning. Try to cut in in the root, while it's still just a sapling. You are awesome guy. One bad interview will not leave a lifelong stain, do your best and it will eventually feel like nothing.

Good luck. Hope I'll see your entries here.

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