College Tip: Learning How to Say No


NO. A two letter word that I loved to say to as a terrible two-year old but have had the hardest time saying as I have grown up. One thing I have learned over the past two and half years here at college is sometimes you have to say no. I love to get involved and I would encourage you to get involved where you are as well, but we have to know our limits. If we say yes to every opportunity that is presented to us we will eventually run ourselves dry.

We are designed to crave adventure, and during our high school and college years we have many opportunities to live that out. Social clubs, service opportunities, sports, jobs, and the many other awesome ways you can get involved on your campus and in your community are great ways to live your adventure; however, we have to keep in mind that we also need time to rest and recuperate.


It has been really easy for me to say yes to so many organizations and opportunities in my time here at college, but I have also had to learn how to say no. Most of the time I hate it; I feel like I am missing out on something or letting someone down, but I also know that I cannot be everywhere doing everything all the time. I have to make time to rest and take a break. Recently, I came to a point where I had completely over-committed myself, and I was completely drained: physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted, and it was in that moment that I learned to say no.

Here are a few tips to avoid this exhaustion:
1. Know what your priorities are. You must prioritize what is important to you. Whether it be people, academics, serving, or working, you must know what you want to commit the majority of your time to.
2. Commit to faithfully serve in two areas at a time. Once you master managing these two things well you can look at possibly adding something else to your plate, but know that you can successfully handle the two before diving head first into the massive pool of opportunities.
3. Spend time resting. Whether that be alone or with a group of friends do something that is going to refresh and revitalize you at least twice a week.
4. Ask for help. When you get to a point of being stretched to thin don’t be too prideful to ask for a helping hand or a night off or maybe even a break from a position.

If you’re anything like me, you will get involved whenever you go to college, but you must learn your limits and know that it is okay to say no sometimes. So if you are overly committed right now, take a break, breathe some fresh air, and find some way to alleviate the situation. You deserve it.


“Enjoy Rest. In this busy life you have to pursue quiet. Find it and enjoy.” – Salt&Steel

Your friend and biggest fan,

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