I find it difficult to say no.
I can openly admit to people that I am over-involved. I’m no expert, but I can offer two cents to this predicament that student leaders often find themselves in.
We have been taught since we were young to, “Just say no.” But it’s hard when opportunities come knocking, especially if you are at a conference or a retreat where the atmosphere makes you feel like just about anything is possible and you can take on just one more duty or leadership position. You need to really think about your schedule, your abilities and consider if you are truly passionate about it.
Don’t sign up for a new commitment because you think it will look good on a résumé. If an obligation is not important to you, and you will not be able to effectively get the job done to the best of your ability, just say no. You may feel bad at the time, but you will likely be saving the group from a future headache.
Tumblr and Twitter now have accounts known as “Student Leader Probs” that address the difficulties in being busy student leader. The accounts speak as if they are a student leader and tweet about “probs” and dilemmas that young leaders face, such as being bombarded with emails, having no free time and forgetting to eat and take care of themselves.
While the accounts highlight the troubles of being a student leader in a somewhat humorous fashion, it also makes you see that it can be a serious issue. The health of the students is at risk because sleep, a good diet, free time and self-care can become almost non-existent.
If you are becoming unhealthy or unhappy, figure out what tasks can be dropped and what choices will make you happy.
Ask yourself if your involvement is worth your time and effort. Question if you are actually gaining knowledge and experience from the endeavor. Evaluate whether the opportunity is a good one before you say yes. Learn to manage your time and where your limits are.
In the end, it’s not important how many clubs, organizations and events you were a part of, but the impact of experiences learned through them that matters the most.