say no

OPINION — As an incoming freshman, you are bombarded with opportunities. Get On Board day is the most obvious example of this. It is easy to say yes to so many clubs that you quickly get overwhelmed with obligations. 

I tried to join Ragin Rescue, the Law Society, UL Democrats, GLASS and the Vermilion. I only stuck with the last one, and, unfortunately, I flaked on the others. I wish I had only agreed to one or two clubs, and that way, maybe I could have stuck with something outside of the newspaper. 

Trust me, it will not hurt their feelings if you say no thanks. It’s okay to take a pamphlet, but I don’t suggest signing up to clubs right away. Take a day or two to think about it.

Classes can be the same way. When I first started, and even now, so many classes looked interesting, it was difficult to choose what I wanted to take, so I took classes that I didn’t need. 

In this instance, I would suggest making a plan. Advisors are great, and mine have really helped me, but they don’t always know what you need, specifically. This is especially true when you’re an incoming freshman. 

So, get out a notebook, and do your research on what you’ll need to graduate in four years. For me, it helped to have a colorful notebook and to always look ahead, but even when that wasn’t fun, it was helpful in the long run. 

Everyone has to learn how to say no to people. This could mean not making too many work commitments or picking and choosing what parties to go to. There has to be some sort of balance, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out, while also not being overwhelmed. 

In terms of work, it is very important to make money and get experience. I am juggling three part-time jobs right now. Luckily, two of them are on my own terms. But this weekend, I had to say no. I intentionally missed out on extra money because I was working myself too hard, and would have gotten into serious trouble with how tired I was. So, I forced myself to say no, and focus on my studying because after working with Doordash, I know I am too tired for much else. 

In terms of the parties, remember that there will always be another one that isn’t before the night of your math final, and that, if your friends are the ones inviting you, they will understand if you can’t make it. If not, you need better friends. 

There will always be other opportunities, and you have to put yourself and your goals first. I won’t be with Doordash forever, but I will be using my degree. My friends and boyfriend will still be there after I finish what I need to, so I have to put myself first.

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