“Want to go get drinks after class?”

“I can’t tonight, I’m broke.”

“C’mon just one drink? For me?”

“I’m not sure, I have class in the morning…”

“Please? It’s been forever, I miss you.”

“Fine, but just one.”

Three margaritas and $24 later, and what is left besides a slight buzz, more credit card debt, and a late assignment?

I am a victim of frequent yes syndrome. I never say no, extra shifts at work? Sure, why not? Want to go grab a bite to eat? Of course! Join another committee? Put me on that list. Neflix and chill? I’ll bring the popcorn! And then at the end of the week when I have a -$7 balance in my bank account and 11 different meetings I’m suppose to attend I sit and wonder to myself, “How did this even happen?”. While my brain, who just so happens to be tired of my never-ending poor decisions, screams back, “Because you are always agreeing to do what everyone says!”

It’s not that I don’t like working or being involved or trying to maintain my social life, I have got to stop doing it at everyone else’s convenience, instead of my own. I am stretching myself so thin because I want to make everyone (including myself) happy, but that happiness is always short-lived. I try so desperately to cling to the things like going out on the weekends with my friends and getting involved on campus, because I am afraid of losing one or all of them. It is my biggest fear. So much so, that whenever someone asks me to hangout or volunteer with them, I immediately agree, regardless if I have the time and money. I justify this to myself by saying that I’m a senior and I will regret not doing these things, plus it will look good on a resume later in life; but in all reality, I might be missing out on something I could regret not doing even more, like spending time at home with the people that love me.

So, starting today I need to learn to say no. I will say no, so I can finish that paper I’ve been putting off for days now. I will say no, so I can finally have time for the gym again. I will say no, so I can binge watch Gilmore Girls all night while eating frozen yogurt out of the carton. I will say no, so I can go home and visit my family and lay in bed with my puppies. I will start saying no for my sanity, I will start saying no for myself. I’m not going to worry about the cute boy at the bar or the opportunities I might be missing out on there. I will live in the moment and only focus on what is going on in the here and now. I will learn to say no and I will become empowered, because I am the only one who controls my life and I need to start acting like it.