Col­lege stu­dent has less time for old friends

Belleville News-Democrat (Sunday) - - Advice - ABI­GAIL VANBUREN

Dear Abby:

I’m inmy early 20s and the only one in my cir­cle of friends who’s cur­rently in col­lege. They all want to hang out all the time, but most of them live more than 100 miles away. I have a strict school sched­ule, and I’m re­quired to study and earn high grades or I will be let go frommy univer­sity.

I don’t like feel­ing like I’m be­ing a jerk tellingmy friends I can’t make it to cer­tain events. How can I ex­plain to them that I can’t drive there ev­ery week­end to hang out? Some­times I won­der if we’re grow­ing apart be­cause they aren’t do­ing the same things I’m do­ing. Is there some­thing wrong with me be­cause I’m still hold­ing on? How can I ex­plain to them that we can’t be as close as we were? If you could help me fig­ure out how to ex­plain my sit­u­a­tion with­out feel­ing guilty, it’d be great.— Busy in Canada

Dear Busy: There is noth­ing wrong with you. Re­la­tion­ships do not al­ways stay static. Most of them ebb and flow as yours are, so please stop flog­ging your­self for­mak­ing ma­ture choices.

Be­ing able to pri­or­i­tize is a skill you should be proud of. You don’t need to make any grand speeches to your old friends about why you see them less often. Just con­tinue ex­plain­ing that for now your ed­u­ca­tion­must take prece­dence over your so­cial life be­cause if it doesn’t, youmay not be able to earn your de­gree. If your old friends are re­ally friends, they’ll un­der­stand.

P.S. Look at the bright side. If you aren’t spend­ing chunks of your week­ends driv­ing back to your home­town, you will have more time to de­velop new friend­ships at school, some of which may last a life­time.

Dear Abby:

May I of­fer a sug­ges­tion to pet own­ers who hire pet sit­ters dur­ing the hol­i­days? If you are happy with their ser­vices, con­sider giv­ing them a tip.

Ev­ery year I amas­tounded at the num­ber of clients who don’t giveme a gra­tu­ity on Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas. Many— if not most— tell me how pleased they are with my ser­vices, but sur­pris­ingly few do any­thing more than that. I con­fess, it makes me feel un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated.

Often, when I ask friends if they tip their sit­ters, they say it never oc­curred to them! So if you have a re­li­able sit­ter and you’re happy with his or her work, please give them a lit­tle bit ex­tra for work­ing on the hol­i­days when most of us re­lax and cel­e­brate with our fam­i­lies.— Cat Sit­ter in

San Fran­cisco

Dear Sit­ter: Tip­ping at hol­i­day time can be stress­ful, and not ev­ery­one con­sid­ers an in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tor some­one to whom they need to give ex­tra money. (Would you be com­fort­able get­ting a fruit­cake in­stead?) While I’m pleased to put the word out for you, be­cause you feel you aren’t be­ing prop­erly com­pen­sated, per­haps you should con­sider rais­ing your fees in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and get­ting along with peers and par­ents is in “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $ 7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Moun­tMor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

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