It’s Friday afternoon and you have an assignment due Monday. You’ve kind of looked at it but haven’t made any real progress. You’ve decided to dedicate your entire weekend to writing the assignment that you really should have started weeks ago.
You sit down, read the assignment task and begin to do your research.
‘Buzz buzz’. You didn’t turn your phone off and your friends have text you wondering if you are still keen to catch up tonight. You reply that you have an assignment to do so you can’t make it and you will catch up with them next weekend.
‘buzz buzz buzz’ your phone rings and you reluctantly answer. You know what’s coming. All of your friends have been conferenced into the call.
‘It’s just a couple of hours tonight’, one friend says.
‘You promised you would make it this weekend’, another insists.
‘But we already made the plans, you can’t back out now’, another cries.
‘I really need to do this assignment, I’ve already received an extension’, you explain to them.
‘It’s already late’, your best mate jokes. ‘What’s one extra day going to matter?’
The cursor on your computer blinks at you. You have lots of work to do. You’re already pushing the deadline and are unsure if you can get the assignment finished on time.
Not all of your friends are students and they have trouble understanding why your assignment is so important. You really want to do well at uni, after all, your degree could potentially set you up for the rest of your life. But, you don’t want to disappoint your friends. What do you do? How do you say no to your friends and other social pressures and work hard to still meet your study deadlines?
The above scenario is one that many of us are familiar with and some of us handle the situation better than others. Some of us can say no while some of us give in, meet up with our friends and submit the assignment late, incomplete or work that is of a poor standard. These four tips will help you say no to your friends once in a while and help you balance your study and social lives.
1. Explain to your friends that you have study to do:
Tell them why study is so important to you. You want to use your nursing skills to help people, your teaching skills to educate people, your engineering skills to build cool things, your business skills to start that business you have always dreamed of, or your music skills to start an awesome band and make great music.
2. Make a compromise:
Explain to your friends that if you get this assignment in and feel like you did a good job, you’ll be able to catch up for longer next weekend. Talk about how awesome the party will be when you can celebrate your graduation.
3. Ask your friends for their support:
Make your friends feel involved. By asking them for support, it lets them feel like they are part of your study experience too. They can offer you the support that you need to get through those long nights of study and the stress of exams. Not to mention the late-night coffee and snack runs!
4. Don’t forget to have fun:
You don’t always have to say no. You don’t want to burn yourself out by sitting in front of the computer screen for too long. Have fun and remember that it is OK to spend time on things that make you happy. A quick study break might be just what you need.
Ultimately, you are at uni to get your degree and get to where you want in life. It’s important to have a balance between your study and social life, but remember that study is only a part of your life for a short period of time. You will have the time to catch up with your friends during uni holidays and after you finish your degree. Keep focused on the reason you are studying and surround yourself with supportive people.
What are you going to do this weekend?