Monday, June 10, 2013

Saying "yes" to yourself

While this applies to many students, I think first year students are particularly susceptible to placing an emphasis on being accepted and needed. Which is fine because a significant part of being a college student is having friends and helping them out.

But some students find that that desire becomes their top priority. And if some of their friends are quite needy (personally or with their campus involvements), students can find that much of their time is devoted to helping other students and, as a consequence, not working on their studies and their own co-curricular activities.

Students who have struggled with this challenge have found different ways to deal with it. One student who needed to strike a balance between helping other students and making sure she was getting her work done and achieving her own goals, was helped by her mother, who told her, "saying 'no' to someone else is saying 'yes' to yourself."

This, of course, is not always easy, and it takes a certain amount of maturity, self confidence, and clarity about what your personal goals are. And you'll have to problem solve around when you really do need to help someone else or when you can negotiate with your friend: "I can't help you this afternoon, but I can meet with you after dinner."