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Why You Need to Say Yes… A Lot

by Hayleigh Brokaw

The topic of this blog may come across as aggressive or even incorrect to some people, but I am here to explain why it’s not as forward as you think. It is more of a truth, a double-edged one to be exact.

I believe strongly in rest, moderation, and prioritizing your own needs in regards to your mental health. However, I also believe in the value of hard work and knowing what it means to sacrifice a few things from time to time. My world has revolved around busy schedules and juggling lives since well before high school even. As a full time athlete and student, I was able to carry my values of organization and work ethic into my present college career. These traits have served me well thus far.

I learned early on being at ISU that taking chances and saying yes more than you’d like can open doors you would never imagine. Freshman me during our COVID year took a chance by applying to this social media team– a position I would have never imagined myself in. Now looking back, it almost scares me to imagine where I would be if I hadn’t. Because I decided to put myself out there, I am now sitting here and writing this blog. I am lucky enough to reflect on my few years here, because one experience led to another, and I have been involved in so many great organizations and teams with exceptional people.

With these experiences in mind, I am writing this in lieu of hoping it might help someone put themselves out there as well. It can be truly terrifying. That is a fact that I wholeheartedly understand, as I do not even consider myself an overly outgoing person. Regardless of your personality, skills, or training, my best advice to anyone, especially students, is to say yes as much as you can. Help out with projects you would’ve never expected to be asked to do, learn a new computer skill, do that one super random task your boss asked you to do; chances are you will learn something. Saying yes does not entail overextending yourself or packing your schedule to its extent, but it means having the ability and work ethic to want to grow. Getting stuck or doing the bare minimum can be so easy to fall into at times, and I am here to tell you it does not have to be that way.

I have said yes a lot and rarely do I ever regret it. Keeping in mind that yes can open one more door than a no just might help you make a decision someday. Figure out what works for you and how much time you may be able to dedicate to new or outside skills can mean a lot more than you think.

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