Making time for friends seems like a no-brainer. And it many ways, it should be. But in the real-world, sometimes having any time for yourself is tough, let alone a social life.
Setting time aside for the special people in our lives often becomes difficult. Time flies by and then it's three weeks (or months or years!) later.
To be quite honest, I cannot believe that I have been living in New York for five months now. I feel like I just moved here yesterday! Summer is always a busy time for me, and since I traveled even more this summer, I really had to be smart about making time to see everyone. It wasn't always easy, and I wasn't always the best at balancing. But at the end of the day, you always need to make time for friends.
Friendships are important and they require work, from both parties. One thing they don't warn you about after you graduate college (make this #576 on the list..) is that you actually have to make a conscious effort to plan and see your friends. With friends now spread across the country and even the world, it's not as easy as it was in college. We can't just wander down to our friend's dorm room or apartment. Add that to the fact that we're all busting our tails trying to find the right job (and kick butt when we do!), it makes our time much more limited and precious.
I learned this the hard way this summer. Waiting around until dinner time to ask a friend to join you isn't always going to work. We're in the real world now, with real life commitments. People have to commute and plan their trains ahead of time. They have work events or happy hours. They might be working late or going to see a movie already. The point is -- you need to plan.
And while it definitely may seem weird at first to actually put an event in your calendar just so you can grab coffee and catch up with one of your best friends, you need to do it! In our world of instant gratification and FOMO, we can be pretty horrible at planning. We wait around until the last minute and have some serious commitment issues.
It's easy for friendships to fall away in this case. Something that may have been so easy in college or high school isn't always going to be that way. If your friendship or relationships are truly important to you, then make that time. Plan ahead. Pick a date, even if it's a whole month away - it sounds crazy, but it honestly flies by. And when the day comes, the time you spend with that person will be even more special.
So while you're sitting in that Monday haze, trying to get everything together for the rest of the week, text or email a few of your friends. Or better yet call them! Make plans for coffee or a movie date. Pick a weekend to go on an adventure! Whatever your heart desires. Just take that first step, and make the time.
This post was originally published on Quarter for Your Crisis, an online community built to inspire and empower people to turn their passions into a greater purpose.