The true test

Having started the first proper week back in university, two facts are made abundantly clear. The first is that there’s going to be plenty I have to do in order to get through to the end of the course. I’m not kidding around, sometimes it feels like they’ve brought back homework and given it a different name and context. Second, I pretty much have to do everything on my own. I can’t make a game on my own, because that is fucking impossible for me to do within the time I have to complete the course and my current skill set, but everything else I have to do on my own. This is largely going to consist of written proposals for the first part of the year, but going forward I expect my pathway to be much more research oriented.

To me, this is the onset of a new challenge. In the past, I did do things on my own, but there was a lot of teamwork, for all the good it did for my cynical soul anyway. But now, I see myself having to devote myself to independent study and research. This is where the true test comes in. If I can succeed in this effort, then I can prove that I’m more than capable of researching and thinking independent to a wider world in which I hope to gain employment. If I succeed, particularly if I get a 1st, it will be proof, not simply to myself, it will proof of my intellect. And if I can find the path to using that intellect to get me a sustainable income, and hopefully allow me to spend my days in America, it will be a great source of pride and happiness.

I have an awful habit of underestimating myself that I haven’t really shaken off, and I feel like even with my academic successes (by which I mean my written work being highly marked) that thought tends to be reinforced by my actual design work, which I don’t rate very highly myself. I keep being reassured by others that this is actually the sign that you’re better than you think, as in Dunning-Kruger effect, but I compare my own work to the others and I’m convinced that it’s objectively worse, even if it’s not that bad. If I can get a job anywhere in the games industry off the back of exceptional independent research, which my lecturers think is possible for me to produce (and they wouldn’t have reason to doubt me based on results), then I hope it will help to put this shit to rest.

3 thoughts on “The true test

  1. I have always been of the opinion that one should never judge oneself based of off timed standardized tests, it may also be the reason you doubt yourself, acadmic achievement does not really exemplify students its more psychologicaligally compelling to entice a student into believing they are different while they are merely sheep with badges so to speak. Build your identity on your own, never look to instituitions for that credit, innate energy is the most powerful if harnessed. These projects are just catalysts for you to showcase your ability, they do not define you, you define them.

    1. I didn’t entail any sort of standardized tests in the strict sense. I understand that some university courses end in examinations, but my course doesn’t. All of my modules end in either formal presentations, submitting written reports/dissertations or both. So I don’t think it works the same way.

      With my course at least you’re in an environment where you have room to make some mistakes and you have the chance to learn from them, whereas in the career world you might actually get fired if you fuck up too much.

      In general, though, I’d say you’re probably right.

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