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Connecting in CollegeHow Friendship Networks Matter for Academic and Social Success$
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Janice M. McCabe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226409498

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226409665.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 January 2020

Balance

Balance

Chapter:
(p.39) Two Balance
Source:
Connecting in College
Author(s):

Janice M. McCabe

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226409665.003.0003

Chapter 2 examines students’ discussions of how their friends are involved in their academic lives. Nearly all respondents engaged in “testimonies of balance,” describing themselves as balancing academic and social life, while also engaging in “cautionary tale testimonies of imbalance,” where they describe others who fail. The chapter also identifies ways that students separated friends from academics as a way to deal with the potential distraction of friends and ways that their friends were involved academically. The strategies that students used to separate friends and academics are: dividing their lives into “academic time” and “social time”; using time with friends as a break from academics; and using time with friends as a reward for academics. The strategies students used to integrate friends into their academic lives are: instrumental assistance, like studying together and editing papers; emotional support; intellectual discussions; and competition. Contrary to conventional wisdom, students are quite savvy in recognizing that friends can distract them and in strategically using friends to help them improve their academics.

Keywords:   friends, college students, academics, social life, emotional support, intellectual discussions, competition, studying

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