I’m in my early 20s and slowly approaching my mid 20s lol. As my friends become real adults with real careers and are in serious relationships, it feels that wedding season is slowly becoming a year-round thing. And when you’re in class all day, study all night and weekend, frequently assessed with tests/quizzes/OSCE, and living off the gracious loans from FAFSA, it seems like a near impossible task to go to wedding events/engagements/showers.
BUT FEAR NOT. I want to encourage you that it is VERY POSSIBLE to do fun things in grad school and still stay within budget! It seems daunting and impossible at times, but it is VERY POSSIBLE.
Here are some things that I did for 2016, which consisted of 2 engagements, 3 weddings, and 1 wedding showers.
- Plan ahead! If you know your sweet friend is going to get engaged, ask for the details for the engagement and the party after. Michelle’s Fiance, Chris, personally called me 3-4 months in advanced to tell me of his plans and wanted to keep me updated so I could take a look at my schedule and plan my study goals so I could be prepared for school and go the engagement party. The same concept applies to weddings. When you know that a wedding is set for a date, take a look at your schedule and test dates to see what it looks like.
- Just because you have a test on Monday, it does NOT mean you can’t go to the wedding the weekend before. Make TIME for the little victories and celebrations for people in your previous life (aka your life before grad school). I can’t express the number of times I went to a wedding before a test and felt SO REFRESHED. You’re surrounded by people who love you and they believe/encourage you even though you’re low key freaking out because you have non-studying guilt.
- But, that’s not to say that you HAVE to go to the wedding shower, bachelorette party, AND the actual wedding. Let’s be honest…that gets expensive FAST. So I recommend picking 2 of the 3 components for your friend’s wedding.
- Example: Wedding + bachelorette, wedding + shower, shower + bachelorette
- If you can’t go and still want to “be there” in a way, send a GIFT.
- I couldn’t go to a bachelorette party because I had a big pulmonology midterm the Monday after, and then an OSCE and a neuro quiz that same quiz. It was basically during the middle of the hardest part of my really hard semester lol. So instead, I contacted the Maid of Honor and sent a sexy surprise 😉 to her to give to the bride-to-be.
- I recommend Victoria Secret’s Clearance section LOL. I found some cute ones there for a good price.
- Wedding gift? Use coupons & split the cost with a friend! Look at their registry to see what they want.
- Bed Bath and Beyond always has a 20% off coupon
- Look at Target’s online deal. They usually have deals such as saving a certain % off or where they’ll give you a target gif card if you spend over a certain amount.
- Credit cards with miles/cash back
- I’m currently in the market for a credit card with good cash backs or rewards for travel. There’s always the possibility that your friend may have a destination wedding or bachelorette party. So I feel that if you’re going to spend the money for essentials, might as well get something back for it like rewards, travels, or cashbacks.
But sometimes, the honest truth is that you just CANNOT make that wedding. I think part of being in grad school is knowing that there will be sacrifices, and that just may manifest as missing a wedding 😦