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Going to school can be a trying practice that wears us down in a lot of ways. It also gives us the opportunity for experiences we may not get anywhere else. When it comes to being social while attending a university, there are many different roads one can take.

Some feel that socializing, compared to studying, is a low priority, while others make it their goal to expand their circle of friends upon entering college. However, things can get complicated when school becomes the main barrier between a friendship.

Seemingly strong bonds can be tested in a number of ways when school is at its busiest. Sometimes you and a friend may suddenly have different goals that make it difficult for your paths to cross. When this happens, it is easy to forget plans you made or even send a quick text letting the other person know you miss them.

Friendships may get even more difficult when one person attends school and the other does not. Many of us know people who are taking entirely different paths with their lives.

Though everyone has responsibilities that keep them busy throughout the day, those responsibilities vary from person to person. It can be difficult to keep your ties in the face of deadlines and midterms.

Homework or an important late-night meeting may interfere with plans and eventually steer the relationship into a very specific direction.

You may become jealous of them for not having a full load of nightly homework, just as they may become jealous of you for not having to convince a boss somewhere that they are good enough to keep their job. It’s difficult to relate to one another when neither party can see firsthand what the other is going through.

For example, if you are running on just a few hours of sleep, simple tasks can be difficult. If you tell your friends that you were up all night doing homework, they may be unable to see the full picture of your stress without seeing the worn look on your face.

Similarly, it may be difficult for you to understand why your friends don’t want to go out after a full day of work, even though they don’t have papers to write at home.

These small instances of not being able to keep up with a friendship can manifest themselves into stressful entities that can actually take a lot of your time.

You and these friends may feel after a while that your lives are too different to relate to one another. You may find yourself agreeing to less time with them in order to avoid fighting and destroying the bond you once had.

The important thing to remember in situations like this is that your livelihood is of the utmost importance in times of stress. Though you and your friend may struggle to understand each other’s positions in life, reminding yourself that your health and happiness matters most may help you get through rough patches with them.

In the same instance, knowing when to let go can also be key. Though the goal is never to cut ties completely, sometimes you and your friend can benefit equally from time apart. You may not have the opportunity to do the same things you used to do, and that may weigh your friendship down at first.

Eventually, you may find that when together, you do different things that are even more fun than before. Letting go of a previous way of living is not always a bad thing.

Sitting down with your friends and trying to understand them in a new way can be beneficial to your relationship. Allowing the friendship to grow and take a new form can be exciting and freeing, allowing you both the comfort of space and the promise of a new kind of bond.

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