By Laci Sutton / Staff W
I am a people pleaser.
I hate the thought of letting someone down or disappointing those around me.
I can’t stand the idea of telling someone no when they ask for my help.
I will put others’ needs above my own.
That’s just who I am and always have been.
You’re probably thinking ‘That’s not a bad thing.’ I should want to help other people.
Where do you draw the line?
I have been struggling with that myself and continue to work on it every day.
I am currently in my first semester of the ADN program at Hutchinson Community College.
At the same time, I’m also enrolled in classes with the University of Kansas School of Nursing through their Community College Partnership program to get my Bachelor’s degree.
I have two online classes through KU each semester on top of my full class load at HutchCC.
Money certainly doesn’t grow on trees, so I also work part-time as a pharmacy technician.
To say I’m busy would be an understatement.
My classes with HutchCC started a few weeks before my KU courses so I had some time to get myself into a routine with class, studying, and work.
It was all working smoothly until my KU classes began.
I had a complete breakdown within the first week and nearly quit the program with KU because I was so overwhelmed.
I was working three days a week, maybe an extra day or two if they needed to call someone in.
Being a people pleaser I couldn’t bring myself to tell them ‘no.’
I was struggling.
I didn’t want to burden my family with my stress, but at this point, I didn’t have a choice.
They sat with me and put everything into perspective, and I finally realized the need to set some boundaries for myself.
At the end of every week, I was drained and had no time in between to ground myself to prepare for the next one.
I spoke with my work; and, being the incredible people they are, they cut my hours down to two days a week. I was scared they would be mad or upset for making them short-staffed, but that wasn’t the case.
They knew I had an intense course load and were there to help me, no questions asked.
I struggled with the thought of putting my foot down to do what was best for me regardless of how it affected others involved.
To finish classwork or give me time to recharge, I had to turn down friends who wanted to hang out and coworkers who needed someone to cover their shifts.
I’m sure they were upset about it at the time, but I had to do what was best for me.
It’s an incredibly difficult lesson to learn, and it’s still a work in progress, but it’s so important for your mental health.
That conversation with my manager felt like a punch to the gut asking her to cut my hours down, but the stress lifted off my shoulders since then is unmatched.
Being a college student is tough.
You have to put yourself first and do what you need to do to be successful.
Learn to set those limits, learn to tell people no.
Always have your best interest at heart, those around you will understand.
Laci Sutton is a Nickerson junior studying Nursing.