Why Low-Maintenance Friends Are Lifesavers During Your Final Semester

by Mia Conti

There’s this old-time saying that says, in college, you can only have two of the three following things: outstanding school work, an active social life and sufficient sleep.

For longer than I’d like to admit, I elected to focus my college experience on a flourishing social life and a privileged sleep schedule.

School work seemed more like a suggestion, and graduation was a mystical milestone, akin to marriage or babies.

It was way out of sight and far out of my mind.

I drank the hunch punch, and I wore the bandage skirts.

I broke my sorority bylaws and danced on tables, and all f*cks were gone with the wind.

I slept through my 9:40 am geology class nearly every week, and I took a math test without a calculator.

I was often a little buzzed from the night before.

I treated myself to the 24/7 IHOP conveniently located across from my dorm until the bandage skirts weren’t working for me anymore. (Though, in hindsight, they never did.)

I did terrible those first couple of semesters.

The choices I made were poor, and my cheeks are flushed just typing this.

Yet, I regret nothing.

Throughout those shameful months, I cultivated friendships with some of the most inspiring women on this planet.

No exaggeration, they’re #squadgoals (and then some).

So, they were along for the roller coaster ride that is college. They held my hair back, and I held theirs.

They kicked my ass into going to class, and they did me one worse when I slept with my ex-boyfriend.

They’d seen me through my worst times (read: bandage skirts), and they were beside me for some of my best.

They loved me so much that I began to love myself, too.

With their guidance and a manageable course load, I was able to spend my junior year of college achieving respectable grades, attending parties and dedicating some free time for sleep in between.

But, as most good things do, that came to an end.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I graduated from college, and it feels like I’m coming up for air for the first time in the last two years.

Most post-grads can attest that the final couple semesters leading up to that diploma are generally comprised of the most demanding and anxiety-producing classes that a student encounters.

There were many close calls with caffeine overdoses in the library.

There were countless Red Bulls, and sadly, none of them contained Tito’s or Grey Goose.

If I wanted to rise above the sh*tstorm of a GPA I had created during my first semesters of college, I had to reprioritize life real quick.

So, number one and number three it was. I chose school and sleep.

Days of mimosas and nights of gin and tonics became distant memories, and my social life became nearly non-existent.

I had at least two written assignments due every week, usually more.

I was perpetually exhausted.

The idea of even cutting out 30 minutes of my day some weeks was daunting, and maintaining friendships seemed like a chore.

I did not want to “go to lunch” and catch up.

The only thing I was trying to catch up on was "The Mindy Project" or some f*cking sleep.

Wine night with the girls went from being the highlight of my week to something I couldn’t wait to cancel on.

Some of my friends were upset by my blatant distance and lack of enthusiasm, and they were rightfully so.

I kind of sucked. But then, I graduated from college.

I finished. My papers were done, and my projects were complete.

College: check.

It was over.

The semester I graduated from college, I managed to have the highest GPA of my entire academic history.

I polished off approximately three bottles of ZzzQuil, and the five (12) bottles of merlot collecting dust above my cabinets were drunk all by my lonesome.

But this article isn’t really about me or about college.

It's not even about the 5 (12) bottles of merlot.

It’s about life.

You see, life is going to be a lot like that last semester, I think.

Life is going to be hard and hectic as sh*t.

There’s always going to be something I need to get done, and God willing, there's always going to be some of "The Mindy Project" to catch up on.

There will be deadlines to meet, bosses to impress, breakups to endure, babies to birth and death to mourn.

There will be depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Hell, if we’re lucky, we’ll even experience some all-consuming happiness.

Maybe Mindy Kaling will give us with another addictive show.

Maybe JK Rowling will stop teasing us with the screen play bullsh*t and get on that eighth book.

Who knows?

There are so many different obstacles that might come before or between friendships.

Life is far too demanding for there to be no selfishness.

Selfishness is inevitable, and it’s basically vital to survive these days.

So, this is a shout-out to the boss bitches in my life who know that, who understand that and are about that.

They know me.

They know that sometimes life does get to be too much.

But they don’t let that change anything.

They know that no matter what, I’m their girl.

They didn’t jump ship, and they didn’t talk sh*t. I wasn’t written off.

This is a thank you to my girls, the ones I barely managed to see in the last six months.

It’s an “I’m sorry for not texting you back," or texting you at all.

It’s a proper thank you for loving me through the distance, silence and canceled plans.

This is a tribute, a love letter addressed to low-maintenance best friends everywhere.

Because sure, in life, everyone would benefit from proper sleep, we all want to succeed in work and everyone craves a “flourishing social life.”

But really, you need three things:

A friend who knows you’re his or her best friend, even if you don’t talk to him or her every day.

A friend patient enough to stick around, even when you don’t give him or her a reason to.

A friend who supports you through life’s obstacles, even if you don’t ask for it.

If you have that, then the rest really isn’t so hard, is it?