He Said, She Said
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 20:09
Question: My friends and I have really different schedules. It seems as though when I’m super busy with school, work, and activities, they are all free and able to hang out together. I always feel like I’m missing out. How can I balance my busy schedule with spending quality time with them, and feel included?
Unfortunately, spending quality time with friends is difficult for the busy college student to accomplish. As much as we enjoy our friends’ company, we are forced to sacrifice leisure time for study time. The beauty of a college with 9,000 students is that there are plenty of opportunities to make friends. I advise that you look to expand your friend group if hangout sessions are simply not feasible.
As soon as I started Boston College, I made it a priority to have a minimum of three friend groups, each having its own niche—one is great for study sessions, the other for partying, and the last for fancy dinners in Boston. Sure, you may prefer one over the other, but the college life is about making compromises. It is important not to let one group overpower the other—balancing time with different friends allows for limited boredom. It is unhealthy to spend all of your free time with one particular person or group of people, so think of your hectic schedule as an opportunity to expand your BC network.
Because you must maintain some sort of connection with your current friends, I advise that you all compare schedules and see if there is at least one common free hour among you. Or, schedule individual coffee sessions with each one—coffee has the ability to mend any social gap. Whatever you do, do not give up and lose connection with any of your friend groups. Be kind to yourself—allow for some crazy Friday nights. College only happens once—you never again will be situated on a breathtaking campus with thousands of other youngins all looking to make a friend.
As a busy person myself, I can definitely relate to how you might feel as though you’re “missing out” when you’re too busy to see your friends. While it’s hard to change around your work schedule, classes, or club meetings, I suggest rethinking how you use your other time. Something that I now take advantage of is the idea of a working lunch or dinner. Instead of giving yourself 15 minutes to shove down food between class, try scheduling meetings or joining friends for a longer lunch. You’ll not only satisfy your hunger, but you’ll also knock out another item on your to-do list. I’d also suggest watching videos for class or brainstorming ideas for an essay while you eat. You can always try to rework your schedule to move your exercise or homework sessions to times when your friends are busy as well. It might not be as convenient in your schedule, but it could offer up some time to hang with friends.
While you can only do so much to change your schedule around, you can definitely take the initiative to plan different events yourself. Instead of waiting for a text inviting you to the North End for dinner, why not be the one who makes the reservations? Sure it’s more work to coordinate with everyone, but at least you’re the one in control of where and when the night’s events will take place. Scheduling time for your friends should also become a bigger priority. If you constantly say you’re free for meetings or an extra shift at work, you’ll never be able to have quality time with your friends. It’s important you take care of yourself, so try to block out a time each week to do something fun—whether that’s going to a Nights on the Heights event or grabbing dinner at Lower.