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  • Aunty Vic

Aunty Vic

Q: How do I juggle staying close with my old friends, making new ones, handling classes, and commuting, especially when everyone’s schedules are different and I live far away?

Welcome to the reality of having an actual life. It’s not a bad thing. You’re ambitious, social, and care about not drowning in it all. Congrats—you’re (probably) not depressed.

When maintaining friendships, it’s crucial to remember one thing—they are relationships. Relationships require effort, quality time, and good communication. Now, it’s just unrealistic to expect yourself to pour these three factors into every single person you drunkenly dance with on a Saturday. So start thinking, what friends make me feel good? What people do I find it easy to put effort into? What people appreciate my time? Who makes me feel recharged? Those are the people you need to prioritise.

Now that you’ve prioritised which friendships make you feel great, it is time to get a routine going. Do you have a free Tuesday evening? Make a quiz team. Got an assignment due on Wednesday? Link up with a friend and have a study session. Going out on a Friday? Host dinner and pre’s with everyone. Do you do your grocery shopping on Sunday? Go to the markets with a friend and grab a coffee at the same time. All of these options blend socialising and regular weekly activities. You must be proactive and be prepared to try new things. As you get older, socialising looks different for everyone! The common thread is that it will require effort, time management, and good communication.

How you manage study is very individual. I would be focusing on studying to an extent which is reasonable for you and your degree. If you are at different campuses from your friends, with an odd schedule, this really isn’t something you'll be able to change. Start branching out with new friendships in your degree, or try and develop some independence when it comes to your study. Both skills, making new friends and being independent, are super foundational life skills. So don’t be scared of them! Think, do I really need to travel on the bus up to Kelburn to sit next to Anna in silence on floor six? Or should I just grab that coffee with Kuramaiki, who I really clicked with, from my Management Tut? Or, should I grab a coffee, park up with a cute pen and notebook in the sunshine and get my work done? Try something new, I dare you.

Remember, you’ll never be able to perfectly juggle it all. Nobody can; if they are, they’re lying. Prioritise friendships which make you feel good, think about socialising in new ways, and maybe lean on yourself for a while! When you’re frantically running around, you stretch yourself too thin, and then nothing is enjoyable. Focus on what you can control, be proactive, and accept that your life is changing and that is okay.


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