WoW put me in college
Trigger warning: Suicide
My days as a noob
I started playing WoW on November 24 2006. I was 13 years old and miserable. My parents were separated and I lived with my mother, which was alright for a time. But about a year or so earlier my sister had moved in with my Dad. So now it was just my mom and I. That was when Mom started drinking, a lot. And, when my mom drank she got mean. She said a lot of pretty awful things those days. And for a long time all I wanted to do was die. I thought about it daily. It was what I would look forward to coming home was "I'll go home and hide in my room and I'll do it this time" but I was too much of a coward to do it. And that only made me feel worse. I tried talking to the school guidance counselor, and my dad, and everyone. Time and again they all told me to "stop making her so mad" they told me it was my fault. That I really was as awful as she said.
Then I started playing WoW, I'd seen the commercials for the 10 day free trial and thought it looked like it could be fun. Logged in that first time on a Human Warlock "Strikingd" on the realm Korialstrasz and played around. I was pretty lame, by the end of my trial I think I was level 8 or so. My mom agreed to pay for it to keep me quiet at home. Eventually the game became what I looked forward to coming home "Gotta go figure out how to do that quest." It kept me going. When Burning Crusade was released I remember being ~level 55 in Felwood. My Dad got it for me. After over a year of playing I made it to level 70 and Zul'Aman was released. Somewhere along the way I'd decided to be an Affliction Warlock. My guild was "Forsaken Crusade" and they were amazing people they took me on my first heroic just 'because' and when I tried my hand at raiding and did awful they didn't really care. My guild brought me on runs in Karazhan because I was a Warlock and the Illhoof fight existed. My first ZA run was with one of our guild's main tank's on her alt and all the guild's scrubs. After which I was told to go talk to 'Bath' (practically GM at the time) about being a raiding Warlock, because I had apparently shown potential. That was when I learned about the glory of Destruction spec and add-ons and how to play wow. And I asked the quintessential noob question "If I reset my talent points. Do I get the ones I already spent back"
By now Mom no longer paid for WoW and I was spending every penny I could on 60 day game cards. And I became one of my guild's best DPS because it was BC and I was a Destro lock. I had become pretty good friends with some people in our guild especially Rose who became one of our main tanks once she leveled up her Paladin. As a mother Rose was pretty appaled to hear about what I was going through. Rose sort of decided to make sure I was ok. She wouldn't let me raid some nights unless I'd finished my homework, and yelled at me if I was up too late. Our guild was comprised entirely of adults over 25 and me at ~15 and Rose's son who was a few years younger than me. But that didn't matter to anyone in the guild we all just hung out and played the game together. Murc one of our guild's best players who also knew some of what I was dealing with was pretty hard on me to improve my gameplay and my attitude. I didn't have the best outlook on life in those days. He was tough on me, but I can honestly say I wouldn't be half the person I am today with out his guidance. Then one day Mom was especially bad and kicked me out while running around the house with a knife. I hid in my room with my laptop and just cried. Rose flipped her lid. She sent me her full legal name, credit card numbers, address, and phone number and told me to "just get to somewhere safe." She told me I was welcome at her home if I wanted but she lived halfway across the country.
I ended up going to my Dad's house for a while. But eventually I was sent back to my Mom's because apparently that was where I had to go. Eventually our guild sort of died due to people being recruited to other more prestigious guilds and the ability to transfer factions was big. Eventually our guild became just Me, Rose, and Murc and we would run PuGs together, but our server just wasn't for it then and we transfered to a different server made our own guild and ran PuG's that made it further than most progression guilds on the server. This was around the time ICC came out. By then I was in highschool and now that I had some self confidence and was starting to make friends. I slowly began to play WoW less as Wrath was starting to wind down, we all were playing less.
FOR THE HORDE!
After a little while I noticed my grades were dropping and the only thing that had changed recently was I had given up wow a few months earlier. And I missed it. So I logged in and found a few friends online playing on some Horde alts they'd just made and laughing about how easy it was to kill everything with all their Heirlooms. So I joined them on a rogue because I had full heirloom set for rogues fully enchanted (Leveling rogues had become something I did while bored). It was Warsong Gulch PVP weekend so the EXP boost from in there was ridiculous half a level or so for a victory. So we hopped in queue once we hit 10 and didn't stop till level 20. This was before the talent change over and I was combat specced. So I had a lot of fun in there. The best moment being when I dinged 20 IN THE BG. So I grabbed blade flurry and demolished them that game. None were safe from my sinister strikes. We all made it to outlands too fast to remember. Going up a level or two every dungeon and just running through one after another. I ended up being the "tank" as a rogue and PJ was healing so we had healer queue times. By outlands I realized that I had enjoyed tanking and made a Death Knight so I could be a real tank and continue leveling with PJ. We hit 80 a few weeks later and I tanked ICC and TOC and I did pretty well. Then Cata came out and by then I was really enjoying my Death Knight. Rose and Murc eventually transferred servers, and we've kept in touch even met in person a few times when they were in the area. And every so often Rose's son DEMANDS I play him in hearthstone so he can show off his new deck.
At first I stayed in the guild PJ and I had joined, but by then PJ had gone off to be a PVPer but I loved raiding. So I stayed and we managed to do not terribly in BWD, but our raid leader refused to do BoT because "there aren't as many bosses" so I began holding stealth runs with anyone who would come from the guild. And we managed to do pretty well if I do say so myself. Around then I became pretty good friends with a hunter named Don. Don and I eventually decided that our guild was awful and went to go find a new one. That was when I joined SO and we raided with the best of em (not really). Don joined SO too a little bit later. SO threw me into the deep end with raiding. They were a lot more progressed than I was because they were working on Nefarion at the time. They had me main tanking the fight before I really knew what hit me. But we took him down easy. We managed to be some of the best on our server and that was pretty cool. In SO only Don knew about my home situation and that was exactly the way I wanted it. They didn't treat me with kid gloves or expect anything less than my A game and I brought it. Over time I stopped being such an awkward, miserable kid and became just a teenager. Before I knew it I was applying to college.
I wrote too many essays to count for college admissions but my favorite, the one that helped me realize who I am and what I want to do. That one was about WoW and what the game taught me. I learned about who I was and who I wanted to be. And now I'm pursuing a degree in computer science and I want to make video games. Because video games can change lives and save lives. I know WoW saved mine.