Last Sunday, I caved and bought The Sims 4, with the Discover University expansion pack, because I’d been watching videos online and had an idea for two characters
There were definitely some things I did not understand–mostly how to do final papers and assignments for the classes–so my Sims quickly went off what I had planned for the characters. But aside from the whole academic probation thing, I quickly noticed my Sims started acting a bit like me.
I directed my Sims to do homework above all else, to push through if they got tired or hungry. I ignored exercise. I went on a date literally needing a bath so she was appalled.
I thought I found a way to cut corners by buying my Sim a mini-fridge full of seemingly infinite free “quick meals” so I didn’t have to go to the dining hall all the time (which wasn’t open at all hours anyway), but then my Sim felt uncomfortable from an unbalanced diet of too many quick meals and desserts (at the dorm, the only food left around are cookies and cakes people leave around to rot). It was the same issue I had as I struggled to adjust to my new work schedule, neglecting my basic needs until they demanded to be taken care of first.
(You can buy traits as you gain experience that can make your Sim not get tired or have to go to the bathroom, but like, that just seems unfair. Another part that isn’t realistic, though, is how weight works in the logical way that bodies don’t, as your Sim will gain or lose weight/abs depending on your “fitness” level. And, well, there are also ghosts and aliens…)
Eventually, I figured out enough of a routine on the Sims (and how to do well in the classes, too). I can tentatively say the same for my own regular life now, I think. I’ve been able to carve out some time for writing–including this!–that I don’t feel so adrift or just waiting for things to change anymore. I’m still in a transitional period of my life and I’m still figuring a lot out, but I’ve made progress.