Sometimes ‘No’ Needs To Be The Answer

I’ve always valued my alone time, but I also enjoy leading a relatively busy life. Unfortunately in the world of a communication major, this means alone time is rare – it is communication after all, which normally implies more than one person is involved.

I bring this up because I have been busting my butt to exert all effort possible in my three classes, on-campus job, job at the St. Cloud Times, playing rugby, and most of all, being the editor of my college paper. All of this while also maintaining a social life. Holding these positions is what I have spent four years working towards – I love what I do, I am passionate about it. But I’ve been finding myself wondering when it becomes too much.

I rarely go to bed before 2 a.m. – two days a week I am at the Times until midnight, Wednesdays I spend at least 15 hours at the newspaper office, and other nights I spend doing homework or writing. Saturdays are rugby days, as are three afternoons a week. Sundays are budget meetings. Most days I make it until about 2 p.m. before realizing I have forgotten to eat, yet somehow have downed three cups of coffee.

So I can’t sleep like a normal person, but I can eyeball a font and tell you the size and style. I can’t eat three balanced meals, but I can recite a large portion of the AP Stylebook. I rarely consume water, but drink at least four cups of coffee per day.

Dont get me wrong. I’m not complaining by any means. I realize I am lucky to be doing what I love in multiple capacities and that I am paving the way for a successful future. I really do love what I do, and in a way I even love the chaotic nature of the time-management aspect. It makes me better under stress and a more adept problem-solver.

Even so, I have realized that I need to start saying no. I can’t keep taking on responsibilities (or picking up other people’s responsibilities) and still expect to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle. I need to begin trusting people to cover their responsibilities and learn to delegate. It comes down to the fact that I don’t need to be doing everything I am doing – instead I am doing it because I am a control freak.

I am a person who needs that alone time, time spent reflecting like this. That means that sometimes I need to be selfish – I do not constantly need an excuse when I tell someone no. I need to learn to say no simply because I want to say no – for my own sake.

Starting tonight. Tonight I am saying no. I am also taking a nap and eating a normal meal. It’s a start.

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