Saying 'No' Is The Ultimate College And Life Hack

Saying 'No' Is The Ultimate College And Life Hack

Saying "no" sometimes makes your "yes" mean more.

22
views

Say no when you need to and when you want to.

1. "Can you cover my shift?"

"Yes."

2. Would you like to join our organization?"

"Yes."

3. "Can I commission you?"

"Yes."

4. "Can you cover this event?"

"Yes."

5. "This project is perfect for you. Can you do it?"

"Yes."

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

I'm the type of person to say "yes" by default. Somewhere in the library of productivity books I've read in the past few years, I picked up the habit of taking every possible opportunity that comes my way. Certainly, it's a good habit; every goal I've achieved has come from taking opportunities.

But, recently, lying in bed under the weight of overwhelming stress, I started to feel like I've taken it too far. I've said "yes" too many times.

"The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say 'no' to almost everything," Warren Buffett once said, describing the importance of saving your time and energy for only the tasks which are essential to your growth and success.

That doesn't mean that you should say "no" to experiences you will enjoy or opportunities to help others — those are good things which enrich life and refresh your soul. You need them in order to avoid burnout.

However, it's worth it to weigh different opportunities and focus on the ones which truly mean the most. Sometimes, this might mean turning down an invitation to join a good campus organization in order to give your complete focus to your current extracurriculars. It might mean turning down a night out with friends and taking the opportunity to catch up on sleep. It might mean saying "no" to taking on an additional project because you simply have too much on your plate.

At some point, your plate reaches the limit which it can hold. When this happens, every area of your life suffers. Suddenly, instead of producing a fair amount of creative, high-quality work, you are completing a large amount of mediocre, less-meaningful tasks.

"Instead of working longer and harder, we should focus our time and energy on the activities that deliver the biggest results and bring us more happiness," said business coach Mark Pettit. According to Pettit, learning to say "no" comes down to valuing your limited energy supply and using it carefully.

"It's essential to preserve and nurture your physical and mental strength to ensure you are energized, focused, and productive every day," he said. "Stop saying 'yes' to people, projects, and things that lower your energy and bring little or no results."

If you are currently a college student, this may be the busiest your life has ever been. People and commitments constantly compete for your focus. It can be so easy to get caught up in college life and begin saying "yes" to everything, hungry for adventure and new experiences. But if the overwhelm is starting to creep in, it might be time to introduce the word "no."

By focusing only on the people and activities that mean the most to you personally and professionally, your college experience will feel much more fulfilling, and your performance will be much higher in the specific areas that you prioritize.

Saying "no" might feel challenging at first, but it will eventually feel empowering to assert your worth. Saying "no" makes it mean more when you say "yes."

Popular Right Now

Being Home From School, As Told By Rachel Green

You never know how good you have it on campus until it's 9pm and all the stores at home are closed.
1186
views

Oh, look, another Odyssey Article about the struggles of being a college student home for summer break. Bet you didn't see that one coming. Our lives aren't actually that difficult, but it is definitely weird being home. If you know a college student, chances are that despite the workload, the late nights and the sub-par dining commons food, they wish they were back on campus. That's how magical college life can be. And being home isn't bad, per se, it's just... not campus.

1. You miss your friends. Like crazy.

It's not that your family isn't great company, or your high school friends aren't really your friends anymore. They are, and you love them! It's just that you don't bond with anyone quite like you do with the people you're at the library with until four o'clock in the morning, working on an essay you realize is due in two days and not the next one.

2. You realize just how good you had it at the dining commons.

Who knew you could miss mystery meat and pre-packaged sandwiches? College students who realize that cooking is not their thing, and the easiest snacks are the sugary ones you buy for a dollar at the gas station.

3. You have to get a summer job, and it's not the cushy three-hour gig you had at school.

The first two weeks after you get home are so full of hope. You run around to twelve different stores, picking up applications, flashing that college-counselor certified resume. And it almost feels as though you've got it together. Until week three hits and you're still jobless and still not unpacked.

4. You finally get to see your college friends, and leaving them feels like ripping an arm off.

I mean you miss them for a reason. What, did I expect saying goodbye a second time would be easier? Of course not. And the amount of planning that had to go into getting together with them was sort of absurd.

5. In your unemployment, your parents give you some chores to do... and then they ask if you finished them.

Where do the days go? You have maybe a few babysitting jobs, minimal errands to run and still there doesn't seem to be enough time to vacuum and do the dishes. Maybe the twenty minutes before your mom gets home from work is enough time to give the illusion of cleanliness.

6. Your siblings are always in your room. Always.

You love your family. Really truly. But it's easier to love them if you don't spend every second sitting right next to them, picking up on all the annoying little habits they have. Pro tip; a good relationship with a sibling means never, ever eating popcorn near each other.

7. You've caught up on sleep, organized your room, done your chores and ran out of Netflix shows. What now.

There are very few things worse than knowing it's summer vacation, knowing you should be out having fun before another school year begins... and still being bored out of your mind.

8. In the end, though, you'll be okay

There's only so much summer to go around. Get done what you've been meaning to, talk to your friends frequently and get ready for another fun-filled school year in the coming fall. You'll need all the rest you can get.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros. TV

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Reasons Why Staying At College For The Summer Is The Ultimate Power Move

No school, no rules, summer vacation at the best place on Earth, also known as college.

622
views

As summer begins, it brings in the joy of no more school but for most what summer really brings is the sad realization that we have to leave our favorite place and go back to our boring home town with none of our new best friends. Although some have decided to stay at college for the summer and they will soon realize why this will be the best choice that they will be making all summer.

1. NO PARENTS 

What's better than no school, warm weather, and most importantly no one to say, "Are you just going to sleep till 2:30 p.m. every day this summer?"

1. It's like the weekend, but every day

Do you know what weekends felt like during the school year when you didn't have anything to do? No? You never had any free weekends? Wow, I'm so sorry. Well, imagine a weekend that you didn't have to do anything. Now multiply that one weekend by seven and you get seven Saturday like days where you do not have a single care in the world.

3. No "Go cut the grass!"

For the sons, you know that annoying time every week when your dad is going to say, "Go cut the grass." There is nothing you can do to get out of it. Well, staying at school for the summer means no more nagging. You get to choose what you do now.

4. The bond of friendship

The friends you make when you stay at college for the summer are different than any other bond. Mostly because you all don't have a care in the world since it's summer in your favorite place. It's a right of passage to call someone your summer college best friends. These are best friends that words wouldn't do justice.

5. The townies

Everybody always wonders what happens to a college town when all the college kids go home. Well, the townies come back in full swing and take their town back. If you stay at your college, you get to experience what most can't even describe in words. To the one mid-40s guy trying to relive his glory days. To the old men hitting on the college girls at the local pub. To the weird towny creatures that make you shiver with fright as you drive past them. Have fun townies, you only have three months.

That dream of "I wish I could just stay here at college with all these people but have no responsibilities" is finally coming true.

Related Content

Facebook Comments