Making Smart Decisions as a College Freshman

I was given the opportunity to watch the made-for-TV movie Game of Your Life prior to it being shown on NBC on Friday, Dec 2 as part of NBC’s Family Movie Night series and was surprised and impressed with the storyline and production.

The film takes place during freshmen year at the obviously fictional Digital Institute of Game Design and centers around likable Zach Taylor (Titus Makin Jr.). Enthusiastic about his new college life, Zach joins up with three other students, Phillip (Nathan Kress), Donald (Adam Cagley) and Sara (Dana De La Garza), the latter being the obligatory love interest, for a critical group gaming project. Meanwhile, he finds out that his dad’s having financial problems and has to take a job to help with finances.

That sets up the core dilemma of the movie: when you have to choose, where should your loyalties direct you? Towards you family, your friends or your employer?

My experience with made-for-TV movies isn’t very good, so I was quite surprised at the production quality of Game of Your Life. It’s well assembled, well acted, the sets and exteriors are the result of a quite reasonable production budget, and overall it’s quite watchable and interesting.

My oldest is 15, a freshman in High School, but she’s already facing the same challenge of deciding what is more important, family obligations or friends, and we’ve already butted heads on this once or twice in the first few months of her High School experience. Ultimately, we all have to make our own decisions about how to proceed, and it’s not always possible to please everyone and find that perfect solution.

I also remember the challenges I had when I was a college freshman. It was the first time I was away from my parents and I made some smart decisions, and some really dumb ones. I can recall severing communications with my folks for a few months after being berated that I’d forgotten my Mom’s birthday (d’oh!) and drinking, well, rather a few too many screwdrivers (vodka and orange juice) for my own good. In our culture, that first year away from family (and adult supervision!) is a tough one, and however well we think we’ve prepared our children, well, they’re on their own at that point and we just have to hope they’ll survive the experience.

I found Game of Your Life a surprisingly thought provoking movie and one that could be a good film to watch with your High Schoolers. If they’re already in college, it might be too late. 🙂

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.. Also, if you enjoyed this film, you’ll want to hook up with the Family Movie Night Facebook Page too. Just “like” it.

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