Balancing friends with finals

Dear V,

This semester has been rough. I’m super busy with school, work and extra-curriculars, and I feel really overwhelmed all of the time. Because of that, I’m having a hard time balancing my responsibilities with my relationships. I’ve made a lot of new friends this semester, and while I’m super grateful for all of them, I sometimes feel like I’m hanging out with them at the expense of my grades. I hate saying no when to plans because I feel like I’m missing out, but it’s hard to enjoy a night out when I’m constantly worried about the work I should be doing instead. What should I do?

Dear Reader,

Finding a balance between work and play is something most college students struggle with, including me. In fact, I’m so bad at doing this that I recently found myself in a Denny’s at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday night/Monday morning. I should have been studying for my upcoming exam or getting some much needed sleep— instead, I was eating pancakes and laughing with friends. I had a great time, but now I’m tired. It seems like we both are.

I think we need to remember that relationships are best enjoyed when you’re feeling happy and healthy. That means you’re not anxious about how unprepared you are for an impending exam, you’re not exhausted from weeks without a full eight hours of sleep, and you’re not constantly pushing all of your responsibilities toward some obscure future date. It’s important to prioritize relationships, but don’t underestimate the importance of taking time to focus on your goals and your health. You might have to turn down plans from time to time, but you’ll be an overall happier person and better friend if you’re well rested and stress free. So really, your friends will thank you in the long run. And you’ll thank yourself, too.