Screaming On the Inside

When the ship is sinking

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

It can be really difficult to balance personal relationships with professional or educational careers. 

When I say “relationships,” I’m including romantic relationships, platonic friendships and family.

As we have well-established, my jobs and education are important to me but so are my relationships. It can be difficult when choosing between working on an assignment or spending time with my boyfriend. I haven’t visited home in months because I always feel so swamped with responsibilities here in Eau Claire.

I’ve been struggling with all this a lot more than usual lately. I feel especially bad about it because I know my complaining and stressing are not things that my friends or my boyfriend want to hear so frequently. But, it’s hard for me to talk about other things when my worries are always in the forefront of my mind.

It’s not fair of me to dump all my anxiety on other people in my life, but I also have this need to share my feelings with the people who I hope care enough to listen.

At the moment, it is primarily my boyfriend who suffers through the brunt of these complaints. I’ve noticed a distance growing between myself and some of the other important people in my life as well. 

It makes me sad to notice some distance growing between myself and some of my friends, but I’m not entirely sure what I can do about it. I’m busy. They’re busy. When they’re not busy, they’re together. By the time I stop being busy, their plans have been set, and I’m left behind.

This isn’t meant to be a pity party. I’m simply trying to state the facts in case there’s anyone else out there going through the same thing. You’re not alone, friend. 

According to ECPI University, maintaining healthy friendships in college can foster academic and social success. College friendships help students expand their knowledge and social understandings of the world, develop their team working skills and offer them a support network.

So basically, what I’m dealing with is not something that will be beneficial in the long-run. But, like I said before, I’m not entirely sure what to do about this friendship issue. It’s not like I can just skip work to hang out with my friends. 

I do like to think that I have multiple friend groups, though. And, as this is only happening with one group, I know I’m not completely screwed. It just hurts — the feeling of losing people from your life who are so important to you. 

And that’s what really leads me to my point. It’s important to build friendships. I’m not saying you have to be best friends with every single person you meet, but maybe introduce yourself to that person you sit next to in class or that coworker you have. Find people who share your interests through a team or a club. 

These are the people who will still be around when life gets too hectic or overwhelming because they’re the ones who are sitting right there beside you, taking on some of those same stressors themselves.  

In other words, building friendships with people who share your professional or educational anxieties is beneficial because at least they can suffer through work or that one class with you. And your bond will only strengthen because of it.

So next time you’re screaming on the inside, maybe take a look around you and find someone who will scream right along with you.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected].