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

When was the last time you said “no” to an offer or turned down a gig?  As a perpetual optimist and people pleaser, I can completely empathize with those who struggle to say “no” to opportunities that come our way.  I suffer from a serious fear of missing out, and never want to decline an offer that could change my life.  However, I’ve started to realize that I often over-extend myself by saying “yes” to everything and everyone.  This is certainly unhealthy and a habit that I need to break prior to graduation.  Perhaps you’re in the same boat and need some help to break the cycle.  According to flutist and entrepreneur Nicole Riccardo, here are some questions to ask yourself whenever you have a decision to make:

  1. Will this end up costing me time, energy, money, and/or other opportunities?  If this commitment costs you one or more of these resources that you do not have an abundance of to sacrifice, consider declining the offer.  You’re allowed to be selfish.
  2. Will this commitment allow me to network and provide future opportunities/gigs?  With graduation rapidly approaching, it’s important to keep your future in mind.  Identify your priorities and reflect upon whether or not this matters to you.
  3. Is there time in my schedule to accommodate this request?  There is no shame in replying “let me check my schedule first.”  If you have too many commitments that day, consider your energy level in advance and decide whether you can juggle another event.
  4. Do I genuinely want to participate, or do I just feel obligated?  It’s easy to feel pressured into accepting gigs, especially when a good friend or mentor offers it to you.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not owe anyone anything.

Please note that no job, gig, or opportunity is worth you sacrificing your peace, well-being, and joy.  Take care of yourself and enjoy all that life has to offer.  Know who you are and what you stand for.

Hannah Shively

Youngstown '22

Hannah Shively is a senior pursuing her bachelor's degree in instrumental music education from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. She's very passionate about a lot of things: Jesus, music, coffee, fruit snacks, dogs, the cello, and being barefoot. She adores traveling, especially to the beach. You can often find her hanging out with friends, making music, eating delicious food, and going on new adventures.