Knowing When To Say No

By: L Volpe

I have talked a lot about getting involved and taking advantage of every opportunity that you can in the two years you have at the Voinovich School. That being said, you may have to say no to some opportunities!

I am not the first graduate student to be stretched thin between my graduate assistantship, classes, and extracurricular activities. When it came down to the decision to run for an executive position in another organization, I had to think about what would happen to my work if I committed to another obligation.

In our qualitative methods class, we talked a lot about reflexivity and understanding how you personally react in certain situations.  The understanding of one’s own reaction to stressful situations is essential when dealing with the pressures of graduate school. I am the kind of person who has to try my absolute best in all my obligations, and upon reflection, I knew that adding one more executive board to my schedule would result in a lower quality of work in my existing positions. This lower quality would create even more stress in my life! Look out for yourself, and make sure that you are not setting yourself up for failure.

Additionally, utilize your advisors!  Dr. Millesen has looked over opportunities with me multiple times, and her second opinion helped me organize the advantages and disadvantages of each. No one will be disappointed if you have to say no. In the end, your organization will be more disappointed in you if you take on the project and do not fulfill it to the best of your abilities.


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