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Opinion Learn to say ‘no’ once in a while

Learn to say ‘no’ once in a while


Cool Your Jets: A photo illustration depicting the stress that overachieving students place upon themselves. Model: Kyle Stoner. -Aaron J. Stewart
Cool Your Jets: A photo illustration depicting the stress that overachieving students place upon themselves. Model: Kyle Stoner. -Aaron J. Stewart

One of the most difficult lessons to learn in college is time management. Speaking from experience, the act of balancing school, involvement, a social life, healthy living and sleep can all be difficult when you only have 24 hours in a day.

Time management is something I continue to struggle with.  It’s not that I am an overachiever, I just have many interests and have a lot of difficulty saying the word “no.”  When someone asks me to do something, before I even glance at my planner, the three letters Y-E-S have already escaped my mouth.  This habit has gotten me into a bind too many times.

For you overachievers out there, you have come to understand the pain I am speaking of.  Learning to say “no” is a difficult lesson, but it is a lesson you need to take into consideration before your head explodes.

My sophomore year I purchased a large planner, one in which I could lay out my entire week and month in front of me.   Buy a planner, kids.  That way the next time someone asks you to do something, you can pull that bad boy out and see if you actually have the time to do it.  And then when your friends, boss or coworkers try to beg and plead for your help, you can show them your schedule and they will understand.

I am naturally a social person.  Some people find solace and comfort in reading a good book and keeping to the comforts of their home.  As for me, I get extremely sad if I haven’t been around people for a few good hours during the day. 

 But there is some point that all of you social butterflies must say no to going to dinner, to a party or pretty much anywhere with your friends.  You say that you will do what you need to do when you get home; but we all know that dinner turns into a movie and a party turns into a necessary two-hour rendezvous at Taco Bell.

Career-building opportunities are hard to deny as well.  But, when offered an internship or job you need to give it all to that respective job or internship.  Employers will more likely consider your work at a company that you were dedicated to rather than seven companies you did rarely anything for.  Dedication is an admirable trait and you can’t show it until you start saying “no” and put in 110-percent effort into one or two internships. 

Like I said, learning to use the word “no” is a tough but important lesson to learn.  So take a deep breath, check your planner and learn to prioritize your time.  You will never be more thankful.

Mary Sergeant
Writer and Photographer for the Student Printz at the University of Southern Mississippi

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