Finding time to be with friends is a difficult task when you work full time and go to law school. I was told multiple times upon entering law school that I would not have a social life. I probably heard it close to a thousand times before I even started classes. Now that I am in the midst of the semester, the warning I heard are becoming very true. However, with some time management skills I have been able to get my work, homework, and friend time done.
Being an extrovert means that I like being with people a lot. I get my energy and feel more at peace when I am around other people, especially friends who I am close with. At work, I am lucky enough to spend my time surrounded by friends. It makes the time go faster and the job easier. We talk and joke around despite spending up to nine hours a day together. The company I keep at work is supportive of my school endeavors as well, which helps when I have to schedule around class or exams. But, sometimes its hard to hang out with the friends I work with because outside of work I mostly study when I’m not at work. So, I have to come up with more creative ideas on how to balance my time.
The friends I have made in school are just as difficult to schedule time to be with because of my work schedule. There have already been a few events that I have missed because of my work schedule. I can’t just take that time off to go to the events because I still have to pay my bills. But, one great thing with my school friends is that I can make time where we all study together, which fulfills hang out time and study time. I love studying around other people even if we all just do our own things. I tend to get more distracted when I study alone; whereas, with friends I am motivated by the focus they have on their own work.
The friends I have outside of work and school are the hardest to make time for. This is because I don’t have set times during the week when we have to be together. I’m at work with my work friends and in class with school friends, but the friends outside of those areas require more planning. Some of those friends don’t live in my city anymore, so I usually have to find time to just call them, which I can while I do other things. For the friends that do live near me, I have to find time on the weekend to be with them. If play my cards right I can usually find time to at least get lunch or dinner with them.
The biggest challenge I have faced in balancing a social life is where to focus my efforts. I can either continue to focus on the friendships I have already made over the last few years, or I can focus on the new friendships I am making in school. I can do both, but I don’t feel like I would be able to give both friend groups their justified time. So, what I have tried to do is introduce my new school friends to my other friends. Many people don’t usually like mixing friend groups, but I just see it as all my friends becoming friends.
Another way I have tried to maintain a proper social life is by scheduling time where I don’t do homework. This time is usually Friday nights and Sunday mornings. These are the hours that I can reliably devote to social activity. Friday is more fun activities like seeing a movie or doing other social events. Sunday mornings is church, because if I don’t go to church then I will go crazy. If I have any other time to do fun things it’s because I have been able to get my other work done first. Creating a schedule to do homework and chores is so important when you don’t have a very flexible schedule. Hopefully I can maintain this type of lifestyle. Hopefully my friends will not be mad if I can’t hang out with them.
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
― Jane Austen