Education is Serious Business

Gaming is fun. It's entertaining. You want to play. Everyone gets that. "School", on the other hand, is not necessarily so. And if you had a tough time keeping up in high school, well, the truth of the matter is that unless you change, you're most likely in for a rude awakening in college. You also have to qualify to enter many schools as well. Then there is the financial aspect of the higher education world. And lastly, you may have to become your own cheerleader to get through the entire process. This article is not to disuade you from pursuing your dreams of becoming a part of the gaming industry but rather to prepare you for what is normally the reality of a thing called life.

Of course there are variables in all situations but there is a reason that getting a college education is not easy. First you have to qualify to enter most schools. The fact of the matter is that while you may pass the grade as the best gamer to have ever picked up a controller, college entrance boards want to see academic grade levels and other qualifications that distinguish you as different from the rest. In a world that has done its best to build up self-esteem, some of you might be surprised to learn that things like "effort" and "feelings" don't count that much for schools that are looking for the best students they can get. Remember, they can be choosey. There are more students than slots to place them so they can be selective. Plus, let's face it: the better the student, the more likely he or she will graduate and the more likely that student will become a successful worker which then sustains or raises the perceived value of the school, which then attracts more and better students, and so on...

So what does that mean to you? Well, it means you should do your best to learn and get the best grades you can while you are in High school. We'll be writing some more on the topic in the near future but the equation is pretty simple: Hard Work now = Better Chances Later. Life, is a continuing series of choices. Make the choice to study while you can. But what if it is too late? One option would be to enter into a community college to build up your GPA. Some of these colleges have programs to help students enter into a four-year college as well. Also check out gameSchool Network for schools that are willing to accept students with less than stellar grade averages. This is an area that we at gS are looking into.

Related to making grades is maintaing them after you have been accepted. Depending on the school, the amount of energy provided by your teachers to help you succeed ranges from similar to High school (rare) to none at all. That may seem harse but many teachers and institutions do not exist to teach you so much as to provide you a way to learn. It is not uncommon for a student to receive only a syllabus with the information needed for the student to take action on with little or no prodding from the professor. In a word, they may not care if you flunk. That's your business not theirs. The great thing is that you get to learn and practice personal accountability and be responsible for your actions. That is truly a good thing though it may not seem so while you are going through it.

Money. Nothing is free, right? A difficult fact of higher education is that you have to pay for it. For those used to public education, this has never been a problem: school to you was free through the 12th grade. It generally is not after that. Now, there are student loans available at many schools. There are also scholarship opportunities. Take the time to explore the possibilities and make sure you get your Googledocs spreadsheet out to do some simple calculations on just how much this degree is going to cost you.

OK, so now you have been presented with a mountain of obstacles: your academic history, what kind of student you are, how much stick-to -it-ness you possess, and what your financial situation is. See why a college degree is so valuable? Actually be glad that it is. If there was a way to make it easy, it would not be worth anything. That's just the way the world works. You can fight it but look around at those that have. The statistics are not that great and though the author does personally know of some very successful people who did not have degrees, he knows a huge number of people who have accepted this reality. Ultimately it is up to you and your efforts as to the direction you wish to go. gS is here to do its part to help you make the decision.

Welcome to game School Network.

We are still under serious construction at this point but this initial site will give you a flavor of what is soon to come. Our official launch will be in 2013. (Note: We are still working on many details which have delayed our intended launch.)
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