Ways Getting a College Degree Is Like Hitting Level Cap

At first you may not think playing your favorite massive multiplayer online game has anything in common with going to college. But, let’s face it, the worlds of Warcraft and higher education are both grinds.

1. People who did it first are convinced you have it easy

Whether it is your dad, your professor, or your h4rdC0r3 friend, everyone who did it before you believes they had to work harder and longer than you ever will. It doesn’t matter if it’s getting your mount at level 20 or being able to use the internet for research, your way is soft. Their way gave them respect for hard work and suffering that you’ll just never understand.

2. It takes much longer than you expected.

You may think you’ll reach your goal in a reasonable amount of time, but you won’t. The systems are designed to take forever. Or to feel like they do.

3. It takes more money than you expected.

You’d never buy gold or hire someone to play your character. Just as you’d never buy a test or hire someone to take one for you. But even if you are on the straight and narrow the expenses pile up, gear costs money — books, batteries, consoles, and computers. It all adds up.

To a lot.

(If only they gave student loans for gaming.)

4. Reaching the end is anticlimactic.

You’ve killed a million bears. Run a thousand raids. Pulled hundreds of all-nighters. Taken dozens of finals. Now you’ve reached your goal. Whether there’s a final DING! or cap and gown, the fact is you feel basically the same. Except now you don’t have a goal.

Which is why…

5. As soon as you reach your goal, they release an expansion.

Level 50. A master’s. A new set of gear. A Ph.D.

Every time you try to get out…

Photo by Snyder, Frank R. Flickr: Miami U. Libraries — Digital Collections [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons