As a student, it can be difficult to maintain social relationships and more specifically, friendships. As our priorities shift, we find ourselves cutting activities that do not fit perfectly with our schedules.
Peer interaction may often be the first thing to go. Whether it’s a scheduled video call with a group of friends or a weekly game night, you might notice yourself distancing from these activities to make time for homework, studying, or just to rest. And while your education is important, your friends are too.
Eliminating social activities can be damaging to your overall well-being. Humans need other humans. Having someone to talk to or lean on can be helpful during stressful times as a student. Also, having someone to talk to, purely for the sake of connection is important as well. At the end of the day, your friends are your support system away from school.
Here are a few tips to keep your relationships going as strong as your studies:
Pick quality over quantity.
Maintaining a friendship can take time and energy, so try focusing your efforts on the types of interactions. Instead of going to an all-day event where you see a large group of people, but don’t end up talking to many of them, try breaking it up. Dedicate just one hour of your time away from your studies to a specific person, or a few people. This will give you quality time with people and allow for deeper connection. Have you ever skipped out on a social event because there wouldn’t be enough people? That would have been the perfect opportunity to get dedicated time with fewer people. You may find it much easier to have fulfilling conversations in a smaller crowd.
You probably don’t want to take time out of your schedule for someone and spend the entire time focused on something else. Commit to being present in the moment and show the person you are dedicated to the relationship. Make sure your other responsibilities, including your schoolwork, are taken care of before you meet up. Think about putting your phone away or placing it on silent to avoid distraction. Shift the spotlight to your friend and don’t forget to ask about his/her life events.
Be open to change.
Priorities can shift and change quickly, so it is only natural that friendships also change. Don’t shut someone out just because they no longer have the same priorities. Learn to adapt if you are committed to staying in someone’s life. For example, if you are having success in your classes and your friend started a new job, find ways to celebrate those wins together. If you are coming close to completing your school program completion and your friend still has a way to go, be a cheerleader to help them finish strong.
Do what feels right.
Don’t force yourself to communicate in ways you are not comfortable. If you have a hard time speaking on the phone, don’t commit yourself to a weekly phone call. If you dislike texting, steer clear from joining a group chat. You shouldn’t dread how you interact with friends. Suggest to your peers a method that you enjoy and be the one to establish that way as an alternative manner to connect.
- 10 Ways to Make (and Keep) Friendships as an Adult
- 10 Ways to Keep Friendships as an Adult
- 7 Ways to Get Better at Maintaining Adult Friendships
In the same way you have a support system at Ultimate Medical Academy to help you achieve your academic and professional goals, think of your friends as a more personal support system. Are they helping you with schoolwork? Perhaps not, but you are more than just a student.
A healthy support system among friends can help you find stability and happiness as you progress through life.
UMA knows that many students juggle work and family life while going to school. That’s why we have a built-in support system. Our Learner Services Advisors are here for you. Call 888-216-0544. We encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns.
UMA Cares handles important student issues that may need to be addressed with special attention. UMA Cares takes all inquiries seriously and responds in a timely manner. Visit UltimateMedical.edu/uma-cares/ to make your voice heard.
UMA Wellness Center
Stay tuned to the UMA Wellness Center for new blog posts! Wellness is incredibly important to your studies and your overall health. UMA is committed to providing you and your household with access to wellness resources. You and your household can use these resources to work toward your health and wellbeing!
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