Dear Lana,

What they don’t tell you about growing up is that your friendships matter less, and your relationships start to matter more. Realistically, you only have time for two friends. Then, there is your job. A relationship, two friends, and a job — that’s all life is.

Lana, I think I’m beginning to grow complacent with this trend. I don’t really care about making new friends anymore, and I feel less and less of a need to keep up with my existing friendships. They deteriorate, and I don’t have the energy to polish them anymore. I do, however, have the energy to clean my room now. My wardrobe is more polished than ever. My room is sparkling; you wouldn’t believe it if you saw it. Everything is neatly placed and compartmentalized. I even vacuum the carpet every other week.

If I bought a house in Long Island and worked the job I have now for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t mind. My life is pretty comfortable right now. Everyone can move to a house in their chosen suburb or city, and then we would pass into the next phase in life.

I realized that work consumes a lot more energy than I thought it would. Then, there is only so much free time that I have. I have been studying most of the weekend, so there’s not that much to it. But, at the end of the day, there is only so much time in a week. Sooner or later, more responsibilities pile up, leaving less time to spend with friends, and the truth of it all remains more evident than ever: the only thing that matters is your work, your relationship, and two friends.

Lana, I’ve been thinking about the point of college. Isn’t college just paying to have friends for a couple of years — a temporary interlude — before you have to start working? At the end of the day, you are delaying the inevitable. In order to function and survive in society, you would need to work. It can be no other way. But, at least in college, it is a space where you have a period where you won’t need to worry about working and all its immediacy.

The relationship between time and money is what brought me to finance in the first place, and this relationship is so apparent in college. It is a space where you are able to make friends because you don’t have to work. Of course, you still have class, but it’s not quite the same as work. You fail a test, you study extra hard next time. You mess up on your job, you lose your job. In reality, although you put in similar amounts of time studying as actually going to work, the stakes are so different. Paying for college is buying time.