"Wow! You study games?! That must be awesome and fun!" ... I hear that a lot. Well yeah it is fun! But it is also super exhausting! When I played games as a kid I never ever thought about making games myself, and I could not even imagine the amount of work it requires. And it stayed that way until about 2 years ago. "I´m gonna make games! I spent a few summers playing games and I accomplished a 3 year multimedia course ! I know all about it !" WRONG. I didn´t know a thing. I didn´t even know the amount of games that are actually being made and released!
Learning games is like learning everything all over again. Take Manual Samuel, it is the perfect reminder of how exhausting living actually is! And so is doing games. It is not just a few rows of code and a bunch of fancy assets thrown in a magic pot and TADAA you got your game. Everything has a reason. Why did you choose these colors? How are you going to transmit best what you want to the player to feel? How can a few audio-effects and details in control and even camera affect your gameplay? How will you make your players come back? What platform is it designed for? Why? What audience? What is going on in the industry? How can that affect your game? When will you release it? Every littles aspect seems like a whole life changer! And for those who are in the industry for quiet a few years now might not relate to this anymore as it hopefully will come out naturally one day. You want a great polished game? Well unless you don´t need to sleep at all, that is going to be a very hard job to manage. I have been literally in PJs to uni and after all nighters. Hats off to all the people who learned how to manage it! (Or secretly learned how to survive without sleep)
Another thing as a game student is the amount of references you are getting thrown at your head. "Have you played this?" "Do you know this amazing game related person?". Fact is you better should. Truth is you probably don´t. The amount of information that is out there is just brutal and will hit you like a brick against your head. My first reaction was pure silence. I was too scared to ask, and to ashamed to say that I didn´t know something. And it still happens... "Hey do you know that new awesome indie game everybody is talking about?" "Absolutely! I loved how it is so immersive! And how they combined the gameplay mechanics! And the visual style? Aren´t they just perfect for the game?" (No I don´t know it, I haven´t played it, what are you talking about ?!!") There is a lot you will not know, especially at the start, and it will get better I promise! But I can also guarantee you that whenever you feel you finally know about this industry: someone will come around and proof you wrong!
Summing everything up - being a game student is exhausting! And you will not have much time anymore to play, sleep or socialize. Actually it is just like one giant game jam.
Good luck surviving it!