Being a “Yes” or “No” Student

photo taken by *_Abhi_*found at Flickr.com

As the second semester of the school year starts to pick up, I have started to notice some of my regular stressors rearing back into my life. Most of them are normal things, but this past week I realized one of the roots of my stress is found in my go-to procrastination websites.

On any normal day I like to reward myself every few hours with mindless internet stuff. I grab my laptop and start scrolling through pictures, updates, articles, and the crazy videos my friends post. Recently, though, I have noticed the strong presence of inspirational quotes.

At first it was just every once in a while, but these quotes have been taking more and more space in my online world.

Have you seen these?

Many are somewhere along the lines of, “Say ‘yes’, and you’ll figure it out afterward;” “Just say ‘Yes’ to life! What are you so afraid of?” or “Just believe you can and you are half way there.”

I read these, even half-heartedly, and they seep into my thought process. What am I afraid of? I find myself thinking that I will, in fact, accept anyone asking for assistance or any offered writing projects. You need a spare person to hand out things to donors? I have a big paper due on Monday, but…Yes! You think I should audit this course even though I have four courses and a part-time job? Sure! “Reach for the moon and even if you fail you will fall among the stars!” You’re totally right!

But…then again…there are also quotes that point out that I need to set boundaries and say ‘no’. For example, “When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself” or “the art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.”

I then start realizing how little time I actually have spent on taking care of myself. I ask, when exactly was the last time I had time off?

As students, these two messages are everywhere and they put us in a precarious position. The problem is, they are both right. As students, we are at the beginning of a career and should grab at any opportunity that comes our way. However, students also have a tendency to burn out or create strain in their personal relationships due to the fact that most just have too much on their plates already.

So, which is better? Being a “Yes” kind of student or a “No” kind of student? Neither? Both?

What are your thoughts?