The Power of No

The Power of No

By Abby Koch–Saying no to activities is a hard thing to do in college. There are so many opportunities that a person can choose from, but joining too many things can become overwhelming for a full-time college student. Learning how to say no is a necessary skill.

If you were like me going through high school, you were encouraged to be a part of every activity and sport you possibly could. It was possible for many students to be hyper involved with everything and still have their homework done by ten. Sadly, it’s not the same in college.

College has you running around from dawn till dusk, writing lengthy papers about historical figures or working on presentations about the human mind. No matter what your major is, you probably have a crap ton of work that needs to get done. Like many others in college, you fill the spare time between homework with activities and honors societies.

A person can join so many activities that it becomes an overwhelming daily cycle. Mari Pizzini, a junior English major, explained her responsibilities, including over seven activities on top of her school schedule. “I usually don’t have a spare moment until like 8 pm, unless I have night class. Then it’s like 10 pm, said Pizzini.

It is important to reflect and ask: how much does your activity load kill ya? Do you actually have time to relax and have time for yourself? Do you manage to get that 20-page paper done before it’s due without overloading on coffee? These are the things that a college student needs to reflect on.

It is also important to think about your future in your chosen activities, especially since a lot of them are voting for executive positions right now. This time of year is a good time to practice saying no to activities or possible commitments for your own health.

Being extremely busy between classes and activities means something is sacrificed. Typically, it is the amount of sleep that you are getting or missing out on essential things. Madison Pierson, a senior history major, explained that because of her activities she tends to miss out on naps and lunch.

Saying no for some, even for me, feels like you are letting people down. Pierson has learned over time to get over that feeling and say no. “It has always been an issue for me to say no and letting people down if I do say no. But I’ve had to learn through the past couple semesters that if I don’t say no, I’m not going to put as much effort into everything that I am doing,” explained Pierson. “I am either going to disappoint them by saying no or disappointing them by doing half-ass work.”

Realizing that you need to practice saying no starts with taking a look at your planner or how you are feeling. If your planner is already overflowing with assignments and functions you have to attend, it might be time to say no to things. Saying no will relieve that stress you feel from classes and the overload of activities you commit to.

Activities are a great thing to be a part of on campus, but it is important to remember the commitments we make will affect us negatively if we take on too many. When that pressure is squeezing on your health, it’s time to use the power of no.

April 25, 2019