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You Can’t Always Be There For Everyone, and That’s Okay

As college students, we have so much to do that we “literally can’t even” keep track of it all. From social functions, to club meetings, sports practices, greek life, jobs, classes, homework, and finding just enough time to scarf down a stale vending-machine cinnamon roll, it takes a toll on you.

On top of all that, we have friends and family to worry about. You know, the people who are just a text or Facebook message away? Sometimes, the constant ringing of my phone makes me want to throw all of my electronics out the window. One time in eigth grade I was grounded and my phone was taken away. It was honestly a great lesson and I was forced to do things other than text my crush all day. Things like go for a walk by myself where I could really think through all that middle school angst. In all seriousness though, not having my phone made me reflect on myself and focus on what I wanted. It was an experience that I really appreciate.

This brings me to my main point, and I am going to be brutally honest. You do not owe anything to anyone. Not your best friend, not your boyfriend or girlfriend, your acquaintances or classmates. Not even your goldfish. Well, you owe your goldfish food and water and a clean environment, but I digress.

The sooner you learn this, the better. Of course, doing nice things for other people is the best feeling, but you aren’t obligated to always do so. In other words, don’t spread yourself too thin. I love my friends, but I can’t always be there for them. I can’t always go hang out with them or listen to their problems or help them with their homework or shave their back hair (believe it or not, I was asked this once). Sometimes, I need to take care of myself first, and that shouldn’t be something that offends other people. If it does offend someone, maybe they aren’t the right friend to have.

If you give yourself completely away to others, then what is there left for you?

We spend so much time coming up with excuses to back out of plans. We scramble our minds with stress and anxiety, wondering how we can get out of an event that we either can’t, or don’t want to go to. I’m here to tell you something that goes against what you’ve heard from school guidance counselors and cheesy Pinterest quotes: Stop saying yes. Try a simple “No thank you.” A “maybe next time, but thank you for the offer!”

 

Instead of wondering if you’ve already used the same excuse, just give your friend a good dose of what the world has been lacking lately: the truth. It doesn’t need to be anything more than, “Honestly, I’m not feeling up to hanging out tonight. I’m just gonna stay in. Maybe next week!” Don’t ever apologize for taking some “me time.” Before you judge me as some mega-bitch, hear me out. This is coming from the girl who loves to help people. My major is basically devoted to it. However, over time I realized that I needed to find a balance between myself and others. I used to spend so much time hanging out with and listening to other peoples’ problems, that I would find myself completely burned out and mentally exhausted by the end of the day. I would lay in bed and think to myself, “Who is here for me?” I’m not trying to play the victim here. It goes both ways. Sometimes I get overzealous in asking people for rides or getting hurt feelings when a friend doesn’t want to hang out, not realizing  that they may need some space too. I’m aware that I need to work on practicing what I preach, which I understand, because I do believe that it is a really important concept.

And remember 

 

In a relationship with mac and cheese. I'm made of memes, a lil bit of anxiety, and pop culture references that nobody understands. I enjoy dancing, writing, cats, and coffee. Your average Becky. You can hear my laugh from miles away probably.
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