I’m a senior graduating at the end of next semester. I feel like everyone around me is sending around their resume and going on interviews, and I even have a friend who’s already received a job offer. I’m still on the fence about whether or not I want to enter the workforce or take a gap year, then pursue a graduate degree. My feelings of uncertainty have turned into anxiety because everyone around me seems to have their life entirely together. I don’t want to seem bitter toward my friends for their successes, but I can’t help but feel that way. What can I do to get rid of this feeling?
I understand what you are feeling — everyone but you seems to have it all figured out. It’s natural to feel a little bit jealous when a friend succeeds, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t a competition. It’s not you or them — you can both have successes, just your success might not look like their success. And even if your friend is having a high while you’re having a middle, or even a low, remember that these are not permanent positions. It’s more like a roller coaster, and you could be on your way to a peak. In the moment, when you’re feeling bitter, remind yourself of something you have accomplished this semester that you’re proud of. It could be getting an A on a paper you worked really hard on or finally building up the courage to chat with the cutie next door, or anything at all. This will put you in a better mindset, and help you remember that you have succeeded and will continue to succeed.
I have a friend group that I have drifted away from in the last two semesters. I still want to be friends with them, but I am busy and they seem to have trouble accepting that I am not a friend who can see them consistently on a regular basis. I am in a lot of extracurriculars I care about and I don’t always have the time to sit down for dinner once per week. How do I help them understand that friendship to me is not about the quantity of time spent, but the quality?
I have to tell you, friendships require effort. You can’t have friends if you’re not willing to make time for them. If all they are asking for is one dinner per week, that doesn’t seem like such a tall order. College is difficult, and everything is a balancing act. We all have classes, extracurriculars, friends and more to juggle. Your friends, however, are willing to make time in their busy lives for you and for one another. It’s hard to have high-quality bonding time if you’re not spending any quantity of time together. Maybe, for you, this friendship isn’t a high priority and you are okay with being more casual friends, and that is totally fine. But you can’t expect others to be at your beck and call and cater to when you have time for them. If your idea of friendship doesn’t coincide with theirs, then maybe it’s natural that you have drifted apart, and overall for the best.