I came across some advice during my early university years that really helped me develop as a person. It went something like:
When you’re early on in your career/life, say yes to everything that comes your way. Later on, only say yes to the things you’re really excited about.
I can remember various opportunities and events that came up, that I wouldn’t have attended were it not for this piece of advice telling me to say yes to everything. Sure, in hindsight, some of them were a bit pointless. But others led to lasting friendships, business partnerships, inspiration in one form or another, and even a couple of fleeting romances.
Another major benefit of saying yes to everything was that it forced me to become more efficient with my studying. When I had 8 events to attend the following week, along with 3 essays to hand in, it forced me to not waste time and to bash through the work so that I could do something better with my time. It would have been so easy to tell myself and others ‘sorry I’ve got too much work, I can’t make it today’ but (for the most part) I managed to avoid that excuse for all 6 years of university - in hindsight, I’m glad I rarely used work as an excuse for not doing other things.
Finally, and at the very least, saying yes to everything means you end up meeting more people which helps develop your social skills, confidence and charisma. These are skills that help everyone, and that don’t develop when you’re sitting in your room alone poring over some work that realistically, you could have finished in half the time.
One of the questions that someone sent in for the 100k subscribers Q&A was ‘what advice would you give to someone just starting university’ and this would probably be it. Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. You’ll be really glad you did.
Enjoyed this post? If so, you might like to subscribe to the weekly email newsletter that I send out every Sunday. It usually contains a life lesson or two, along with some links to interesting articles, books and podcasts that I discover each week. Click here to check out the previous issues and maybe subscribe :)