The Classic Brunette: Learning When To Say No

Monday, February 29, 2016

Learning When To Say No

Did any of you ever see that Jim Carrey movie Yes Man? If you have, I've sort of been feeling like the cult of yes people lately. I just feel like I've been taking on a lot, and it's a little bit overwhelming.

The other day I was so busy with everything that I forgot that I hadn't eaten dinner and it was almost 10 o'clock. This semester I'm in my junior level thesis class (my major has 4 thesis preparing classes!!) and it's said to be the hardest class in my major, and the rumors are true. I've never struggled with a class like this before. The work is hard, but the amount of work is crippling. I've also been taking a closer interest into the business side of my blog, and have been working harder on it than ever. The amount of free time I had was reduced to my meal times, and that was without adding in my new work schedule for my new job.

I had gone in for my first real training day super excited about where I was working, and couldn't wait to get to know my coworkers. After my first day though, I basically had a break down a few days later. I was texting my mom about how my day was going and she asked about the days I had been scheduled to work. I was assigned four nights in a row essentially right when I got out of school, which at first I thought I could totally take on in stride with my school work and blogging. While texting my mom, however, I realized that I wasn't going to have any time to finish reading a 200 page book, writing a paper, social media, blog posts, along with the 20 hours of work and get everything done without making some sacrifices.

I was actually at a school extra credit event (#nerd) when I was texting my mom, and after it was over I went to my car and cried for a solid fifteen minutes. I was freaking out that I had too many commitments, but at the same time I was scared of disappointing everyone, myself included. It was time to really weigh my options and make some tough decisions. I talked with a few friends, and had an extremely long and complicated talk with my parents about what I should do.

I obviously couldn't drop my class since it's required for me to be on track with my major, so it was more of a discussion on what to do with work, blogging, and managing my time as best I could. My parents suggested asking for less hours at work, but with me already having the minimum number of hours a week, it was highly unlikely that would happen. One of my friends suggested that maybe I stop blogging for a while and I started crying (too much stress for me = sobbing beyond control) because my blog means so much to me, and it wasn't something I could ever give up, even for a semester.

Blogging is a job for sure, but it's also one of my favorite things and through all my hard work comes something I am completely 100% proud of. Along with school though, blogging can sometimes feel like I'm already working a part time job. (More details about how much work goes into it here.)

After numerous phone calls and skype sessions and a few more tears, my parents and I came to the conclusion that I needed to quit my job. I went back and forth on this decision for a while, trying to talk myself into staying up later or getting up earlier to work on assignments, not going home between classes for breaks, etc. But ultimately I just needed to go against my don't give up personality and let go of what I couldn't take on. I emailed my letter of resignation to my boss explaining my whole situation and just released all the stress I had been building up.

Even though that was one of the more difficult decisions I've had to make in a while it really helped me understand that it's okay to not take on everything that comes my way. I need to understand my limits, and not let myself get overworked by trying to please everyone.

I'm not the only one who feels like they're overwhelmed sometimes, and I think it's important that everyone understands this. I know I personally get so much relief hearing that my friends are also struggling, I'm not the only one, and that's okay. Especially for those of us in college, our studies are meant to challenge us, and a little struggle will make us stronger in the end. There's a difference between a challenge and having a break down though, so if you're headed towards the latter you may want to take some time to talk things out with friends and family and see what you can do.

I'm not trying to make this post sound like "poor Sami, your life is so hard," although it's kind of sounding that way... Really I'm just trying to remind you all that you're not the only one who sometimes has a difficult time keeping your head above water. Responsibilities always seem to pile up at the same time, so sometimes you just have to take a step back and say "no" to those extra obligations and have some time for yourself.

Strangely enough, one of my favorite ways to de-stress is to curl up in my bed and write a blog post with a soothing candle lit. Take something that you love like reading your favorite book, going swimming, or seeing a movie with your best friend and take your mind off of your work for a little bit. Sometimes just a small amount of downtime can do wonders for your emotional state.

The stressful times will come and go, and it's important to find your happy place. For me its blogging or re-organizing my inspiration board. Find whatever it is that makes you relax and stick with it, you're not the only one, and if others can make it through tough times, you can too!

Sorry this post was so long, I kind of dragged on a little bit! 


  1. I love the movie 'Yes Man'! And I feel the same way.

  2. Good for you for saying no. It can be so hard to do but it's a helpful way to check in and practice self-care.

  3. I definitely couldn't manage a job in college as much as I had tried either so definitely not just you and it definitely doesn't make you a failure. Sometimes life just becomes too much and we need to figure out which stresses we can cut.

    xoxo, Jenny

  4. I definitely struggle with saying no. I always want to make other people happy and I never want to let an opportunity or a person down so I always say yes.

    La Belle Sirene

  5. It's interesting how some people have trouble saying "yes" to new experiences (used to be me) and then others have trouble saying "no". Great insight!

  6. STAY TRUE TO YOU! I know it's hard to talk about sometimes but Thank You for sharing. XO

  7. I know the struggle of having to much on my plate and taking on responsibilities in fear of letting others down! Hang in there!


  8. I definitely needed to read this... I had a part-time job in college and took on multiple freelancing design projects on the side. Needless to say, the over-glorification of busy-busy-busy continues to reign over my life. :(

    XO, Oksana |

  9. So glad you took the time to share and write this! I definitely need to learn how to say no more..



    Hannah from HMS Jewels

  10. This is so important! I always stretch myself too thin

  11. It's so important to learn how to say no. You can't do everything and once everything gets overwhelming it can be really upsetting and stressful. I learned after just being too spread thin but glad that I learned how to say no.

  12. I seriously was so bad at this in college until my last semester. It was horrible because I wasn't able to do everything well because of how stretched thin I was!

  13. Ugh. Learning to say no is so hard. It takes a couple of attempts to really dive into the concept but once you do you're like, "how did I not do this sooner?" Such a good reminder.

    Sara Kate Styling

  14. I know that sometimes I get excited at new opportunities and it becomes hard for me to say no. But then I feel overwhelmed and feel like I'm drowning. Stopping and prioritizing is such an important thing to do.

  15. Learning when to say no is so important! I'm definitely a yes person because I don't want to disappoint people, but I need to learn how to remain organized and learn when it has become too much.

  16. I love this post-not because you had to give up your job, but because you've taught me such an important lesson! I prioritize things that shouldn't even be important and I need to stop saying yes to every little thing and only to say yes to the most important of things!

    xoxo, SS
    The Southern Stylista

  17. Stress is seriously never ending. February proved to be one of the most stressful months, ever, for me. I wish I was able to de-stress by dropping my job or another aspect of stress right now, but it's totally not an option. You are quite lucky you don't HAVE to work while in school.
    Thankfully, i've learned how to say "no" to taking on more hours or too many sponsored posts. Being able to say "no" every now and then is a great feeling.


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