Over this past year I was asked to address a gathering of the game development students at Champlain. What I said boiled down to something along the lines of, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING AND WHY AREN'T YOU MAKING GAMES" I was just reading an article over at Gamasutra's sister site GameCareerGuide.com and read this in an article about what you should expect from your education.
"Making games is quite different from playing games. Yes, you need to know games, you need to be enthusiastic about games, but playing games that others have devised is productive only in limited ways, especially if you play four hours a day. I've known way too many students who define their self-worth through game playing; unfortunately, in the real world game playing, unless you're good enough to make a living at tournaments, counts for nothing. Make no mistake, the game industry is part of the real world, however extraordinary it may appear to be.
To be an adult, someone who can be a good employee, you must be responsible and productive. When you're learning your skills, your responsibility is to yourself, to do what needs to be done. And that is to be productive. If you want to design, you need to make games, not play games (unless you made it), not talk about games, not analyze games, but to make games. "
There you have it. Get out there and make some games!
In related news, shortly I will be releasing the final version of my Left4Dead map, Dead End, accompanied by a mini-postmortem on the level. That's more for me than it is for you, but you may find it an interesting read if you endeavor to level design.