Advice: Stop people pleasing The value of self-maintenance

By: Luke Byerly ~Copy Editor~

College is a time when people make a staggering amount of personal connections. You join new clubs, meet new people in your classes and become friends with at least some of these people. With this new wave of people into your life come new responsibilities to friends, teachers, classmates, co-workers and significant others.

With these new responsibilities comes stress, and sometimes you’ll find that you have too much going on at one time. For me, being swamped with responsibilities sometimes feels like my natural state. It seems like I’m always running from one responsibility to the next. And most of the time this makes me feel exhausted. When your responsibilities spread you too thin, the first thing you tend to neglect is yourself. You sacrifice your personal health for a higher test grade or a fun time out with a new friend.

Luke Byerly is a copy editor at the Newswire. He is a junior Honors Bachelor of Arts and biophysics double major from Villa Hills, Ky.

At first it’s not that big of a deal, but it can quickly snowball until you find yourself exhausted with the next responsibility rushing straight at you. We lie to ourselves. We tell ourselves that we can do it all; we can keep up with everything going on around us. But you can’t always do it. It’s not something fun to realize, and it hurts to admit, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it.

The fact of the matter is that you’re stuck in a cycle of people pleasing that creates far more problems than it solves. The reality is that if you miss one thing, and give yourself one break, nobody will be upset.

If you tell your friends you’re too stressed out, they will probably understand. If you tell your teacher that you can’t get everything done by the due date, they’ll extend it for you. The key is being honest with yourself and everyone around you.

By ignoring yourself too much you hurt your relationships more than you help them. If you can only give 50 percent of yourself rather than the full 100 percent most of the time, you’re going to be letting people down more than you would if you just gave yourself a break. So unwind a little.

Put other responsibilities on hold if you need to. It sounds like you’re being selfish but the reality is that you can’t really help other people unless you’re in a good place yourself.