Value YOUR Time: Learning How to Say ‘No’

We’re often told that the only way to experience life to the fullest is by saying “yes” to everything that comes our way. Yes to party invitations, yes to joining a new team, yes to living by the ever-popular mantra that is #YOLO . We’re told that we’ll miss out on life if we don’t fill our days with new experiences. While trying new things and being open to what comes across your path is definitely important, learning when and how to say no can also be a valuable tool.

Saying “no” isn’t always easy, especially when there’s the chance of some major #FOMO. However, the bottom line is that you need to be able to say “no” when you are truly too busy, too tired, etc. For example, your friend needs extra players for tonight’s flag football team (semi-finals, man!). The problem? You have a midterm tomorrow and need at least another full night of studying. Sure, football sounds way more fun and your friend might insist he needs you there…..but it’s important to keep in mind what is the best choice for you.

Many students struggle with being able to say ‘no’ to friends or classmates, so we pulled together a few tips for when and how to say no, without feeling guilty!

Your health is important

Have you been staying up later than usual to catch up on work? Have you been feeling congested or been noticing a tickle in your throat? Just feeling under the weather? It’s probably best for you (and for your health) to take a rain check on that fun night out, work event, or all-night dance marathon.

Think about it – how are you supposed to lead a productive (and all around awesome) college life if you end up sick in bed for the majority of the semester? Listen to your body and take care of yourself. Do your best to value your health first and foremost – that includes mental health!

Your goals matter.

We know that you’re working toward something, even if you’re not sure exactly what it is yet! Chances are, doing well in school or at your job is important for ultimately reaching that goal. That why it’s important to be feel comfortable declining an invitation or request when you know you need some time to work toward your own goals. That’s not to say you should feel guilty saying ‘yes’ to fun activities – taking advantage of opportunities is part of the college experience after all! It’s all about what’s best for you.

Before deciding what to do, take a moment to check in with yourself. What do you need to be doing right now to ensure that you’re living the college life that’s best for you? Have you been working really hard and need some time to chill? Or do you need to crack open your chemistry textbook and reread the section on acids and bases. Make the choice for you.

There’s NOTHING wrong with saying ‘no’:

Many times, we feel guilty saying “no” because we don’t want to let anybody else down. However, it’s important to remember that saying “no” doesn’t mean you’re a bad friend. Saying “no” just means that you know your plate is full, and that your friend would probably  have a little more fun with someone who wasn’t quite so stressed out!

Being independent in college means that you need to take care of yourself. Sometimes that means telling yourself to stay in and take it easy for a night! Don’t underestimate the power of a little YOU time this semester.

Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. Rutgers U.


How do you stay focused on YOU? Share your thoughts with us @bncollege or in the comments below!


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