As we put an emphasis on mental health this month, I decided to write about my struggles in trying to find a balance between my social/family life and school life.
Last Sunday, my dad had a rare day off of work and he asked if we wanted to go out somewhere as a family. I would normally go without hesitating, but I took one look at my agenda and my heart sunk. There was no way I could afford losing a whole day when I had 2 midterms in that week. So, my entire family remained cooped up in my house on a beautiful Sunday all because of me (they refused to leave me behind) and I felt so guilty.
When my friends come back into town from university, they ask if I want to meet up. Each time, I say the same thing, “sorry, I’m really busy this week”. School has always been my main priority, but it’s also important to allocate time for the people I love.
I struggle with finding time for the people in my life, because being a university student is a full-time job. But I’m trying to find the perfect balance between my social life and my school life, because both are important. Here are some things that have worked for me:
A good way to have some sort of human interaction and do schoolwork is to find good friends to study with. Normally, the people I meet in my classes have similar (sometimes identical) courses, so it’s easy to coordinate schedules with them and study during our breaks. This way, I’m still doing schoolwork, but have some sort of social interaction (as opposed to talking to a wall, which I frequently do when reviewing material for a test).
Checking up on friends
I bumped into an old friend the other day, who I haven’t seen since high school. When he saw me, the very first thing he asked was how my mental health was. He didn’t ask me how my grades were, or what classes I was taking… he asked me how I was doing, mentally, and that was really heartwarming.
I realized it doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. Every now and then, I text some of my old friends and ask how they’re doing. It’s important to let people know that someone cares about their health and well-being. It can make a big difference in someone’s life and is important for maintaining good relationships.
Taking time off
This Thanksgiving weekend, as busy as I was, I decided to take a day off and go hiking with my family. It was a hard decision for me, especially since I had a midterm on Tuesday, but I knew that I needed a break from schoolwork. I was really glad I did because it was super refreshing and helped calm my nerves.
Remember, school is temporary, but family is forever.