If you’re a fresher, welcome to Imperial! If you’re a returning student, welcome back. Right now it’s only been a week or so of University so things are probably still feeling pretty relaxed. You’re just going through introductory lectures, there’s no coursework to be on top of, and you’ve basically just been chilling, partying and having some fun.

Brace yourselves, because pretty soon all that is about to change without you even noticing. University life is a pretty big culture shock, especially if you’re a fresher. Once upon a time, you were the brightest of the bunch. You topped all your sixth form classes, took part in all sorts of extracurriculars and were told you would go far.

Then Imperial College happened and you found out things are drastically different. The courses are way harder than they were last year, deadlines and assignments seem to catch up on you, and you find out you’re not a special snowflake. Everyone around you is basically the same as you, with similar achievements and ambitions and whatnot. You start to realise you’re actually average.

You don’t just have to take my word for it, it’s scienticically proven!

Right off the bat I want to say, don’t worry. Things will get better and this happens to literally everyone. This is why I’m here to tell you about the awesome stress relief that is video gaming. When you play video games, you’re the hero of your adventure. You are the champion racer, you are the chosen one; you’re the one who fights, saves the day and gets rewarded for it. It feels good – sure it might just be a virtual achievement that has no significance in the real world, but at least you’ll feel like you’re doing something. Gaming will help make up for the loss and lack of ‘specialness’ you used to feel from your time doing A-levels or that really awesome lab report you wrote once.

You don’t just have to take my word for it, it’s scientifically proven! Gaming makes you feel better and reduces stress. It may seem counter intuitive because gaming requires attention and some difficult parts may stress you out. But in the long run, researchers have found out that people who play games are better able to deal with other stressful things and just take down stress in general. The effects are such that it’s even considered by some as a form of therapy for people with mental health and stress related issues.

At the end of the day, it becomes easy to lose track of time, and virtual achievements can’t make up for real life troubles. Having said that, as long as you allocate some time for gaming responsibly, you should be able to de-stress yourself and have a good time!