Hi, I am in a dark place in my life right now and in need of some answers. I do play video games, and my parents give me sh** for it, but I never saw it as a problem; however, now that I am an adult (23) I'm really starting to think it may be an issue. Please help.
I started playing games when I was younger, maybe 10? My first encounter was Pokemon Yellow for Gameboy. I loved this game, and soon started to play other games for Gameboy. It never seemed to affect my life as a child. I played sports, had friends, and never seemed to devote too much time to gaming. However, even then, my parents, especially my dad, gave me sh** for wanting to play it in my spare time in my room or whatever. It was always his focal point in conflicts - Dad: "blah blah blah, cause of those **** video games!" From Gameboy I went to Nintendo 64, to Playstation 2, to Xbox, to Xbox 360. I was an "efficient" gamer. I only had one system at a time, and only 4-5 games. After beating a game I would trade it in at Gamestop for another. I assume that untill this point, I was a "healthy" gamer.
In 2007, my sophomore year of high school, Halo 3 came out, and I was exposed to the "competitve" gaming scene. I dabbled in 3-4 other games a year, but 99% of my devotion was to Halo 3 and its online ranking system. I would have been content with just this game. After school and homework, I would spend hours playing this game with friends, with the intent of becoming the best. I don't know if it is worth noteing or not, but I only play(ed) with friends from "real life." To this day I don't have any notable friends that I met online. I feel a big reason for playing these games is because they do too.
My senior year, 2010, I finally broke down and got into World of Warcraft, at my best friends' encouragement. There were four of us that got online together and played. We were into the player vs. player and would stay up all night trying to get our ranks up. We were all washed up jocks looking for a new competition to suceed at, which wasn't limited by our bodies.
However, I did well throughout grade school, and never got into too much trouble. Frankly, I was a GREAT kid. I was #1 GPA ranked for the longest time throughout high school (I think I finished 3rd), I didn't have my first drink until my junior year and I didn't touch drugs until my senior year (MJ), and I got into my desired college (Michigan). The only knock on my high school career, is that I gave up on all sports except baseball, which I played all four years. I'm personally mad that I didn't do more weight training - I'm pretty skinny, have always been so. Looking back, untill this point, I don't feel there was much of a problem.
When I started college is when problems seemed to start to pop up. It's long enough now that I really can't say what caused what, but my first year was rough. I posted a measly 2.3 GPA, which devastated me. I'll admit the transtition from a small high school with hardly any AP courses to a large university like Michigan was anything but easy, but I did play a lot of WoW. I did study and try my "hardest," but at the end of day all I wanted to do was relax and kill a few dwarves :P. Lucky for me, by the start of sophomore year the game fell to sh** and we all stopped paying the ridiculous $15 a month. This was in part due to the emergence of what would come be the free to play giant, League of Legends.
During my sophomore year, I met some of my best college friends (I was a hermit my freshman year), and for the most part I replaced gaming with drinking and smoking MJ on weekends. I didn't do much better during this year grades wise, but I was definitely trying harder. I think I had a 2.4 cumulative. To be fair my first two years consisted of what most students consider "the most difficult courses." But gaming was almost at a zero.
Junior year it was all about League of Legends. I played with two of the three friends that used to play WoW at first, then convinced two of my new found college friends to give it a try (they had heard about it). We all got hooked and played a fair amount. This year was the first year I wasn't in a dorm, so the drinking and weed smoking also increased HEAVILY. I smoked probably 3-5 days a week and drank almost every weekend. Surprisingly, this is when my grades started improving - I think I got a 3.5 on the year.
Senior year I moved into a house with four other guys, including the two that played LoL. The weed smoking and gaming hit a max. We were smoking every day, before and after class. We played LoL in our spare time. A LOT of LoL. Crazily, I posted my best GPA yet, 3.6.
By some miracle, I got into grad school there, so I went back for a fifth year program. I moved into an apartment with this girl who was a good friend at the time, but whom I also had a crush on (BIG MISTAKE). The smoking and drinking slowed wayyy down, but I still played A LOT of LoL with my two buddies who were a year younger than me, so still in school. I did even better in class, posting a 3.8 GPA. Class ended in May 2015, and that is when things really started to look bad.
I spent the summer in the apartment working on my thesis. The bummer was all my friends went home for the summer, so I essentially only worked on my thesis and played LoL for four months. Working on my thesis and with my advisor was a nightmare. I'd do soo much and get little in return as to how well the project was coming. This combined with living with this girl who now had a boyfriend (sleeping over a lot) and the fact that I had NO friends to hang out with to relieve stress, really started to depress me. I could feel the spiral beginning to happen. I told myself I'd stop smoking in June so I could pass a folicle, but I smoked every day untill I left in August. I didn't finish my thesis in August, the expected finish date. Although to be fair, no one did in my class.
I moved home at the end of August. Since then I've only smoked maybe 3 times when offered by friends and I only drink occassionally. The first month back I was just happy to be out of that apartment and the aweful situation I put myself in with that girl. It really wasn't her fault, was just a shy, insercure guy with high hopes. I was expected to finish my thesis in December, but that never happened. I have maybe worked on it a week total since moving home (last 5 months). I hate it soo much. The experience has been aweful. I feel petrified to do anything on it. Instead I have been applying to jobs most of the day then playing LoL at night. I wake up at 11am, send out apps until 4ish, B.S. around with dinner and talking to parents until 6pm or 7pm, and then play League untill 2am. I lie and say some of the time I'm up working on my thesis, but I'm pretty sure they know better by now.
My dad is starting to be a real prick to me, but there is nothing I can do, he is right. I have nothing to show for the last 5 months. To be fair I am a Geology major, and wished to get into the Oil and Gas industry, but it is in the sh**ter right now. No one is hiring, tons of layoffs are occurring. What throws salt in the wound, is that my roommate was smart and met with a recruiter over summer and got a really good job in O&G in Houston, which I would kill for.
The driving conflict with my dad is money. We are a middle class family and so I needed students loans, which are requiring repayment now. My dad is helping, but upped his work week to seven days some weeks. I don't know our actual financial situation but he likes to tell me that it's so he can pay my loans. I love him, but he is one of the worst humans I have met when it comes to his family. He says the meanest sh** to me, my mom, and brother. And he HATES video games.
I feel like if I quit playing League, a lot of my problems may go away. But I enjoy the game so much I really hope I don't have to quit, but the same time I want to start going to the gym, and living a different lifestyle.
I've lost track a little by now, so if I need to elaborate, please let know.