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Woman snaps on friend who wants to hang out, 'grad school is more important than you.'

Woman snaps on friend who wants to hang out, 'grad school is more important than you.'


We all have different priorities, and while that seems obvious enough in writing, it can be tough to swallow in our close relationships.

One person might prioritize friends and family above all else, while another might place their job and education at the top rung, then socialize when responsibilities allow. And while it's easy to get prescriptive about what the 'right' priorities are, every person is different, so there's no one-size-fits-all.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for telling her friend that education is a higher priority than their friendship.

She wrote:

AITA for telling a friend that she’s not more important than my education?

I am starting a fairly prestigious grad program in a few months. It’s something I have worked hard for, and something that is very important to me. I was talking to a good friend, whom I’ve known about half my life. My friend does not put the same value on education that I do, and that’s fine. Different strokes for different folks.

However, she makes comments about the privilege of school and questions the validity of this path in terms of financial solvency. Last week, she and I were talking, and she raised concerns when I stated that I didn’t feel comfortable with making plans that extend into the time when grad school has started, as I wasn’t sure about how much time I would have.

Her response was that we make time for what is important, which I agree with in theory. However, I will be working, going to school, and maintaining my home. In addition, I have a pet who will need caring for and I have chronic health issues that require doctor appointments.

I said that she’s important, but not more important than school, paying my bills, and managing my responsibilities (pet, health, home). She hung up, leaving me feeling like I had misstepped. Am I the a**hole for telling her that she is not more important than my education or my pet?

Reddit weighed in with their honest thoughts on the situation.

atmasabr wrote:

'She hung up, leaving me feeling like I had misstepped.'

NAH. Technically I agree with you, but I think mild gracelessness in the face of major differences like this don't fall into AH territory.

megankneeemd wrote:

NTA. Your wording isn't great, but the message you were trying to send is true. Right now you have other responsibilities that are limiting your free time, and as a result it is hard to commit to spending time with her.

You don't suddenly hate her, and a good friend would understand that having less free time for friends is simply a part of a lot of people's adult lives, particularly if they know about your health issues. If you want to make amends you could still apologize for what you said, or at least how you said it, but I think it is possible your friend is upset not just because of this conversation.

Logically they might understand why you aren't always available to hang out, but it is possible she was already upset about something else when you told her you weren't free. Either way, I'd say give her a while to hopefully cool down and then talk with her about it.

hollyshellie wrote:

I don’t think you did anything wrong. It sounds like your friend is not supporting your choice to go to grad school and is using your friendship to guilt trip you. I don’t know what some people read, but I didn’t see your response to her as anything but honest. You are expressing anxiety about how your life is about to change and trying to prepare for it.

I don’t have a friend who would choose to question my choice of education and career path. Aren’t our loved ones supposed to be cheering for us? It sounds like she is worried that you will move on with new friends and the kind of career that she has no access to. Whether it’s jealousy or fear of abandonment, something is going on with her, and that is what you both need to address.

Maybe she needs a little reassurance that once you feel comfortable with the new schedule, you can find little opportunities to hang out and start to plan things. Wouldn’t it be great if she learned to be supportive and not focused on the negative things that may or may not happen? Hang in there, OP. NTA

MindlessNote3735 wrote:

You are technically right about your schooling being important but now she knows where she ranks in your list of priorities - which is very low. Also, ngl, this sounds a bit like a cop-out. You could've just said 'hey, let me give you a tentative 'yes' but please be aware I'm going to have to settle into my program first and if it gets to hectic, I might have to cancel.'

You could've shown her you still want to hang out, you appreciate her and her time. But the way you handled it, it may just have cost you a friendship. BTW, this has nothing to do with her 'valuind education less'. She just wants to spend time with a friend and as you are clearly important to her, she thought she was just as important to you. She was proven wrong. YTA.

While people are divided on the official AH ruling, it's pretty clear OP should have communicated better.

Sources: Reddit
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