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How to say ‘No’ without ruining your social life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Toronto chapter.

Edited by: Laura Sweet

Admit it, we’re all ‘yes’ people, meaning we just can’t help it but agree to plans even when we know it’s not the best time to go out or we just don’t have the energy to. Repeat after me: saying ‘no’ is OKAY. We’re about midway through the semester, and things are slowly but surely piling up, from assignments to social outings, birthdays, work, and everything in between; don’t feel guilty at all for putting yourself first.

Yes, I love my friends dearly and never want to miss an excuse to have a fun night out, but with the school season upon us, I know it’s grind time or at least I can have one free day on the weekend to spare and catch up. Saying ‘no’ doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, and they should understand where you’re coming from. To not go completely insane from lack of social interaction, I try to add one type of social event weekly, at least since I’m already busy with going to class, doing readings, and working as well. This way, I know I have that time to relax and enjoy life away from the craziness that’s been happening all week. As a bonus to better include your friends in your schedule, try sending out a calendar invite with a date for when you’ll hang out, so they feel included and get that reassurance that it’ll happen for real and it’s not just an empty promise.

To keep up with my life, I use 3 different planning methods; it might sound crazy, but trust me, it works! I personally plan everything on my calendar app on my phone (time blocking), academic assignments and due dates on a Notion calendar spread, and daily tasks to get done I’ll add to my reminders app.

First, we have the digital calendar app. I love this because it syncs throughout all my apple devices, so it’s accessible to me on any medium I’m currently using. On here, I create as many sub-calendars as I need and title them accordingly, such as personal, school, work, readings (yes, even my academic reading schedule) and meetings. This way, everything is colour coordinated, and on a weekly view, I can see where my time is being used and for what reason. If I see too many personal events such as hanging out with friends one week, I have a ton of essays due, I know I’ll have to cancel those plans.

Notion has been a game-changer for me because it keeps my assignments all in one place, and I’ll check on it weekly to see what’s upcoming for that week I need to work on, then I’ll schedule in that time back on my calendar app on my phone for when and how long to work on it. Lastly, the reminders app is great for me to check off minor things I need to complete in a day, like errands.

So, there you have it, being a ‘yes’ person isn’t totally bad but can be draining and not completely holding yourself accountable for all other tasks you need to finish first before seeing your BFF. Try out these 3 types of organization tools and get your life back on track! 

Eboni is in her final year of studying journalism and minoring in media and film studies at the University of Toronto. With a love for all things music, fashion and wellness; Eboni is excited to share her passion for writing by unleashing her creativity and expressing herself to others. In her everyday life she focuses on fitness, indulging in a good book, taking photos and exploring new city spots (food related of course!)