Stu­dent has less time for old friends

The Wichita Eagle (Sunday) - - Fun & Games - JEANNE PHILLIPS

Dear Abby: I’m in my 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 from my univer­sity.

I don’t like feel­ing like I’m be­ing a jerk telling my 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? — Busy in Canada

Dear Busy: Re­la­tion­ships do not al­ways stay static. Most of them ebb and flow as yours are, so please stop flog­ging your­self for mak­ing ma­ture choices.

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 ed­u­ca­tion must take prece­dence over your so­cial life. 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 am as­tounded at the num­ber of clients who don’t give me a gra­tu­ity on Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas. Many 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. 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.

Con­tact Dear Abby at www. or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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