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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.

College is a huge investment and can often be stressful: hours upon hours of studying, writing essays, attending social events, and collaborating on group projects. After a long day, many of us just want some time to ourselves where we can turn off our brains for a bit. 

If you’re looking to find some escapism in the form of video games, then I have some recommendations that are perfect to play while you take some time to relax.

Stardew Valley

If you’ve ever played Animal Crossing, then you might like Stardew Valley. Burnt out from the mundanity of corporate life, your character decides that it’s time for a change of pace and they move out to the countryside. From there, it’s all up to you to build the perfect farm. Growing crops, raising animals, harvesting honey, fishing, mining materials, etc. The sky’s the limit. Just be sure to reserve some time to talk to the other residents of Stardew Valley and attend the town’s events!

Coffee Talk

In a fantasy setting, you work as a barista at a coffee shop in downtown Seattle. You can provide a listening ear to your patrons, as they describe the lives that they lead and their struggles. All while you create the perfect, soothing beverage. You can even draw some latte art!


You are the Spiritfarer, steering a large ship across the oceans of the spirit world. Your job? To provide a home for a joyful cast of characters: building their dream houses, making their favorite meals, gathering different materials to unlock more chores, and so much more. All the while helping the spirits find peace (grab some tissues, you might need them for those parts).

If any of these games sound intriguing and relaxing to you, give them a try! 

Portia Coulter is a writer at Indiana University of Pennsylvania's HER Campus chapter. She covers topics in the entertainment industry, ranging from video games to animation. Portia is also an editor for Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s New Growth Art Review, having joined earlier this year. Some of her work has previously been published in the 2023 edition of the New Growth Art Review; they were also submitted to that year’s horror competition: a short story that won 2nd place and an art piece that won 3rd. Currently an English Literature/Culture major with a minor in Communications Media, Portia plans to graduate in May 2024 and pursue her dream of writing an original graphic novel series. In her free time, Portia likes to play video games (she has a crippling Genshin Impact addiction), watch cartoons, sing and dance, and is currently learning how to knit and crochet. She likes to create a plethora of different fan works for her favorite series, from art to short fiction. It also serves as a good way to hone her craft as an artist. An introvert at heart, Portia likes to hide in her room, curled up under a mountain of blankets, and watch the newest romance anime while she attempts to knit a scarf.