Oftentimes, I find myself so caught up in my schedule that I neglect time with friends or even family. When I do this I tend to feel lonelier, as though my responsibilities are more overbearing than they actually are. I’ve already written a column regarding the benefits of alone time, but I will admit I am definitely a person who is both an introvert and extrovert. It’s a tough balance.
Some days I crave time for myself. Other days, I love all social interactions. I know that some days, when it seems as though my entire life is being engulfed by my athletic and academic responsibilities, a couple hours with the right people can help me clear my mind and relax for a while. And, usually, the people I spend time with appreciate it as well. As humans, we naturally long for social interaction. There’s nothing wrong with being a person who lives for being social, yet wants alone time once in awhile.
With that being said, you have to be somewhat aggressive with the way you handle your time. If I have a big exam coming up, I usually have to say no to fun plans my friends invite me to in order to prepare more. You simply just have to analyze your priorities. However, you can also be proactive in planning time with friends and family. If you want to be social and do something fun to de-stress, make it happen. Don’t sit there and complain that there’s nothing fun to do or that you have “lame” friends. Call someone, text a group chat, show up at their house — it doesn’t matter, just make it happen. It’s all about effort.
Overall, the ones you care about will appreciate that you take time out of your schedule to see them and spend genuine time with them. Just put in the effort to care for others and you will be surprised by the positive responses. Your presence can be a present for someone without you even realizing it.
Rachel Astleford is a nutrition and dietetics major and can be reached at [email protected]