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I am very much a people pleaser. When thinking about disappointing someone or not being able to help, it makes me fear the worst; what that person thinks of me. This has led me to always saying yes to not only every request but to every opportunity that comes my way. With it being my senior year, it has started to become a burden and has left me with barely any time for myself. This has lead me to a discovery about myself and the difficult task of learning how to say no. 

When looking at reasons why I find it so difficult to say no, I find it is due to being told so many times that I need to build my resume early. Because of this, I sought out as many opportunities that I could and when I was accepted for it; I did not think twice about accepting. This, along with school, added to my schedule where I started to get overwhelmed but thought it was normal for every college student. That is until I started talking to others; then I realized that it wasn’t. The push for college students to be in as many things as they can is something that I took seriously and it ended up making it harder for me to learn to say no. 

Another big thing that made it hard for me to say no was the fear of missing out. I am sure most college students feel this way. By having this fear, it has led me to try to fit in as many activities as I can on the weekends, or really whenever someone invited me somewhere. There have been times where I prioritized going out with friends on a Friday night rather than prioritizing a homework assignment due that weekend, leaving it to do Sunday. This has led to stressful nights catching up.

While learning to say no to every invite and opportunity that has come my way, I did find some tips that helped make it easier. The first thing to remember is that your time is valuable and your mental wellbeing is a top priority. This is something to always keep in mind when deciding to go out or add another resume builder. Think to yourself about how beneficial or fun it would be and do you have the time? This will help determine if it is worth it and help you set out priorities. Also, there are some phrases I try to remember when saying no. Those include: “By saying ‘no,’ I’m declining the request and not rejecting the person,” and, “When I say ‘yes’ to one thing, I’m actually saying ‘no’ to something else.” These are phrases that I have heard constantly and truly help when learning how to say no. 

It is hard to come to the terms you can’t do it all, but once you do, it makes life a bit less stressful. No matter what you are saying no to, always remember that you have the ability to say no whether it is to do homework or to just have your time; never feel guilty about saying it. 

Kate Renz

Virginia Tech '22

Public relations major minoring in cinema. In my free time, I love to spend time with friends and watch movies!
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