My grandma was diagnosed with cancer a while ago, but things started to look worse these last few days. I really want to go home to Vancouver to see her in case anything happens because my grandma is one of the most important people in my life. The problem is I have two midterms coming up and am already going home for Thanksgiving. The tickets are expensive and it will be a major hassle to have to make the trip twice.
— Worried Grandchild
Dear Worried Grandchild:
I’m sincerely sorry to hear about your grandmother. Family illness is often very difficult to deal with and hard to balance with academics.
What you need to do is plan—look at your calendar and determine which days you are free and can make a trip back home to Vancouver. Whether it’s a weekend or in the middle of the week, choose the days that you aren’t missing out on anything important.
In terms of the expense side, talk to your parents. Ask their opinion on whether they want you to come home now and then again during Thanksgiving. If you’ve already booked your flight home, another option is to see if you can exchange your flight and go home now instead of over Thanksgiving. Whatever fee there is, it might be worth paying.
Besides planning the trip, also plan your study schedule. Make sure that you allocate enough time to study for your midterms and not fall behind on work. Be realistic when doing this; don’t tell yourself you’ll study on the flight if you know you’re going to fall asleep.
Lastly, talk to you professors. For a family emergency, they will be able to accommodate you and help relieve some of the pressure.
The bottom line is that your family is important to you; you don’t want to leave any regrets.
Hoping for the best,
Since the start of the semester, every time I run into a friend she says that she’s in a hurry, or she says she’s on her way to a meeting. I feel like she’s trying to ignore me, but I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. Maybe I’m just over analyzing the situation. Do I confront her? Try to give her space?
— Paranoid Pal
Dear Paranoid Pal:
First, take a step back and look at what’s going on. Think back to what happened before the fall began. Did you do anything that seemed to upset her? When you see her from a distance, does she also seem like she’s in a hurry? Chances are this friend might just be extra busy this semester. Talk to your mutual friends. Has she been ignoring everyone, or been busy since the beginning of the school year? If none of your friends have gotten a chance to catch up with her from the summer, then it’s most likely that she actually does have a tight schedule and has nothing against you. However, if she seems to only be doing this to you, ask your friends if she’s mentioned anything to them.
The best solution here is to talk to that friend. The longer you let this tension continue between you two, the longer it’ll be until you can hang out like friends again. The key is communication. Ask her what’s going on before just confronting her and accusing her of ignoring you. Chances are, things are going to get ugly if you start an argument for nothing.