Nick: The Art of Saying No

If you’re a COM student, chances are you’ve got a very busy schedule. Sometimes students in other colleges at BU will scoff at the fact that most COM classes only meet once a week, but they’re forgetting one key point: all the work that happens outside the classroom. One of the best things about COM is you’re practicing the skills necessary for your career from day one. If you want to be a journalist, you’re out covering stories and conducting interviews. If you want to be a director, you’re putting those skills to the test on your short films. If you want to be a producer, you’re scheduling shoots and putting potential producing prowess on display.

But all this great professional experience lends itself to a familiar COM dilemma… “I don’t have enough free time.” Between balancing schoolwork, likely a myriad of extracurriculars and a possible part-time job, finding time to sit back and binge-watch Stranger Things may not be as easy as you’d like. Which leads me to the solution: the art of saying no.
Now if you’re anything like me, you tend to overbook yourself to the max (iCal has become my best friend). I want to make everyone happy, and this often means that I say yes to things that I later regret. If you overbook yourself, you could end up losing sleep, skipping meals or getting sick.
So one of the best lessons I’ve learned in COM, especially my senior year, is to take care of myself and sometimes turn things down if I know they would only make my life more difficult. Don’t wait as long as I did.
With added free time this semester, I was able to be perform in Stage Troupe’s production of Grease with some pretty awesome dudes.
Turning down an internship for fall of my senior year was a difficult decision, but one I felt was necessary. I had come off a busy summer interning with both WEEI, writing content for their website, and NBC Boston’s investigative team. My schedule was pretty busy as it was, and I considered interning on my two free days without work or class. Let’s just say I’m happy with the decision I made. As it turns out, those days have proven to be valuable times to schedule interviews, shoot b-roll for class video packages and sometimes just unwind and watch TV.
I was also tempted to take on more responsibility in my extracurriculars, but decided to go another route. Without being bogged down by my extracurriculars, I auditioned for another show this semester and was cast in Stage Troupe’s production of Grease. I have always loved performing, and figured this could be one of my last opportunities to do something like this. It didn’t have to do with my major or advance my career, but that’s ok. Sometimes you need to do things for yourself.
With the added free time, I was also able to book a flight to Washington, DC in early October for the annual Online News Association conference. This was an incredible experience – both in terms of returning to a city that I love and also networking opportunities. This would not have been possible if I didn’t say “no thanks” every once in awhile.

And best of all, with my added free time I’m able to spend more quality time with my friends, some of whom are either graduating in December or headed to do the LA program for the spring semester. You’re only in college once, and it’s important to remember that you have the rest of your life to work. Find some time while you’re at BU to turn down an offer and go to that Red Sox game, spend the night at the ICA, check out some of the delicious eats in the North End. You’ll be glad you did.

Carter, Simon and I spontaneously bought tickets to a Red Sox playoff game, and it was one of the best days of the semester.

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