Advice > Question

How do I make sure I make time for my friends without feeling guilty and overwhelmed?


I feel swamped with work when I’m in school but feel like I’m neglecting my relationships. How do I make sure I make time for my friends without feeling guilty and overwhelmed?

TIME is one of the most precious resources when you are a vet student. There is never enough of it. You have tests to study for and work to complete and any down time is spent trying to catch up on sleep or housework and chores.  

The important thing to learn is how to best prioritize and utilize it. As a vet student, I developed two main ways to balance my time so I could continue to maintain my friendships. I learned the art of multi-tasking and came to understand quality vs. quantity of time.

Multi-tasking. You are in college. Everyone must study, so do a study date. Go to IHOP and get the endless pot of coffee or go to someone’s house and plan a break to watch Grey’s Anatomy in the middle of the study session. Plan on studying for a specific set of time and then plan to do something FUN afterwards. Workout together and quiz one another during lifting, if you can talk.

If you have friends who are not in school, you need to be diligent in scheduling something regularly to train yourself to see them. It may not be weekly, but a good friend will understand that any time is better than none and will make the most of what you have to share.

Learn to have QUALITY time with your friends even though you cannot have a large QUANTITY of time. As a vet student you are in a season of life where you will never feel like you have enough of it, so make the most of what you do have. Here are some tips:

  •     Put your phone down. Time is limited. Make sure you focus in and really take advantage of every second to catch up and share with one another.
  •         Make a standing date. By prioritizing brunch every other Sunday or scheduling a Poker night the first Friday of each month, you are training yourself to see your friends.
  •     Combine a mealtime with good friends. We all must eat, so have your friends come meet you at the vet school and eat outside for lunch. Or treat yourself to some sushi for dinner with a group of fun friends. Find the moments and savor them.
  •     Start your own tradition. Maybe it is a Friendsgiving because you are all stuck in clinics or a night out after end of semester exams. Whatever it is, take the time to let your hair down and interact with the people you love most.
  •     Enjoy social activities offered through school. Join clubs with your specific interests and volunteer opportunities. Attend the Galas and Casino Nights. Go to the chili cook off or calf fry. Show up and bring a friend. There is usually free food and it is a good time to encourage and enjoy one another.

You owe it to yourself to prioritize time with the friends in your life who will help you survive the rigors of vet school. Today, I encourage you to call a friend or send a text. Set up a date. Reconnect and recharge. It will be worth it.



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