This is a guest post by Veronica Finch. Veronica is a recent college grad and her wisdom exceeds her years; while her examples focus on college-related activities, her suggestions are applicable for everyone. I like the way her piece syncs with several of the Six Simple Rules—I see a clear connection to “Be Nice”, “Be Organized”, “Be a Leader”, and “Be Happy.” Enjoy.


Balancing your studies and your time with friends is easier said than done. I know—I’ve been there. Though it’s difficult to juggle, it is doable. Here are tips to stay on top of your obligations, while keeping your friends:

Use a Planner

School will keep you busy, regardless of how hard working you are. If you don’t write down your appointments, you will inevitably miss some, which will result in unhappy situations with friends. And, of course, it works the other way too. If you meet up with your friends and neglect your classes, your learning will suffer.

A planner can help you keep tabs on everything. Set appointments, classes, and social plans in advance and you won’t suffer from cat fights and missed classes anymore.

Update Your Friends

There will be occasions when you’ll have to concentrate all of your brain juices onto your studies (midterm exams, superior essay writing and the like). You need to tell your friends that something important is coming up. A simple phone call will help them understand your situation better. Avoid texting, which can come off as insincere and cold.

True friends will always “get” what you’re saying. If they don’t, it may be time to reconsider the kind of people you surround yourself with.

Avoid Slacking Off

The sooner you finish your homework, the more time you’ll have on your hands—time that could be spent with friends.  Slacking off is self-sabotage when you’re a student. Life won’t stop and wait for you to get your act together. Do your work and something good will come of it; laziness will impact your chances of having a better tomorrow.

Party Less, Lunch and Dinner Dates More

There’s nothing wrong with partying every now and then, but you won’t be able to fully enjoy the time with your friends when you’re drinking booze. In addition, the hangover and regrets the day after are not a good result. I like to think about the oft-repeated line, “Everything in moderation.”

In addition, I recommend lunch and dinner dates with friends. A good time doesn’t have to include alcohol and loud music. Good company will provide you with better quality time.

Make Sure Time for Friends is for Friends

Don’t read text messages or update your Facebook status when you’re in the company of others. Time with friends is limited, so it’s important to treasure the time you have together. Looking at your phone rather that at your friend will make them feel taken for granted.

And if you need to study during time you were hoping to spend with friends, tell them. They will understand, and maybe even join you for a study session.

Be Open-Minded

Petty fights should be avoided at all costs. The smallest of quarrels can create the largest of gaps. If you have a misunderstanding with someone you’re close with, be the bigger person and fix things up while you can.

Keeping the good will with your friends is vital to your personal growth. “Sorry” and “thank you” are words that can do wonders for your relationships.

Your life will not stop once school is over. You need to make sure that you don’t lose your friends to the single-minded pursuit of your diploma.

What are some ways that you balance friendships and other obligations? Join the conversation with your comments…


Veronica Finch is a recent graduate of New Orleans University. She works as a freelance writer and contributes to various web sites as she works to make a name for herself as a writer.