I remember attending many social events on campus—movie nights, parties, cultural events, and there was even a Spades tournament where my friend and I won second place. I can also recall the numerous events I missed. Because I worked part-time and had a rigorous course schedule, I had to learn to balance my social life with my academics. With each year, I found myself more and more busy with school work. By the time I started attending clinical education for my major (Radiologic Sciences), my friends barely saw me. They knew that every semester for 7 weeks (either the first half or second half of the semester) I was unavailable. Between courses on campus, clinical education, and my job, spending time with friends on or off campus was impossible.
My overall point: Remember why you are there. You chose to attend that college or university hopefully because of a combination of the following reasons:
- it offers your major or career choice path;
- you earned a scholarship there / you could afford to go there,
- wanted to be there, or
- it has some cultural, family, or historical significance (like Historically Black Colleges or Universities or HBCUs).
Some key points to consider:
- While it isn’t about how long it takes to finish, college is a temporary stage. You attend, you perform, and you graduate. Remember that.
- Keep real friends in your corner. My friends respected my schedule, and never treated me differently for my decisions to not attend something or join something with them. Each person is different, and true friends wish you well. I did the same for them. If we were going bowling, and someone couldn’t attend because of school, work, etc., then we all understood.
- Know what takes higher priority. To piggyback off the previous point, certain things hold lesser priority and setting your list of priorities will not favor everyone. If your priority flows from school/studying, work, and then family, then friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, organizations, etc. must accept the time you are willing to give or their place in your life can diminish or cease to exist. It’s not about disrespect, but about importance.
- You can’t do it all. College wasn’t set up for you to do everything. It gives options. Pick what applies to your life.
- Consider money. If you choose to join certain organizations, you’ll need money for some. If you have to take additional courses or attend an additional semester, you’ll need money too. You can have fun in your social life and have a great academic life, but it will require planning, budgeting, sacrifice and discipline to know when enough is enough.