The semester is well under way and I am sure that many of you are stressed out already. This article will give you some tips so that you can be the best RA you can be all year long.
Check out the schedule at the bottom of this article…does this look like your semester schedule?
If your schedule looks very similar to the one that follows, then you need to work on your “saying NO” skills. Believe it or not, some RAs don’t even have the word “NO” in their vocabulary. If you need to, you can practice saying the word to yourself and have other RAs help you say it. You can set up a rule among your staff. Once a week every staff member needs to ask a favor of the other and that RA has to say “NO” to whatever they ask him or her to do. If they don’t say “NO” when you ask them, they need to stop what they are doing and watch TV for one hour!Notice that “Me Time” or watching TV isn’t even on the schedule above. Spending time with friends is only accounted for on Friday night. It might sound strange to write “Me Time” in your planner, but if you don’t, then you will never take it! If you keep up a hectic schedule like the one above and don’t account for your personal well-being, you will surely be burnt out by semester break. If that happens then you will spend the whole break catching up on your sleep and refueling your mind and body. I have been burnt out many times and had to refuel during break. It is something that you do not want to have to go through, instead take care of yourself now and have fun on break!
To help you say “NO” and organize your activities, try to take your calendar/planning system with you wherever you go, on and off campus.
Never leave home without it, treat it like you would your car or room keys. If you always have your planning system with you, then when someone asks you to do something you can look at the date and see what else you have going on that day. If you have something else to do that day, cancel that activity and do the new one that interests you more or just say “NO” and continue with your original plans.Below is a list of nine ways to say “NO”. I got these from Paul Wesselmann through his Stone Soup Seminars. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak, don’t pass up the opportunity because he will change your life!
9 Ways To Say “NO”
- Thank you for asking me to help with this. It is an honor to be asked even if I won’t be able to say yes at this time.
- If you can ask again at a later time (next week/month/year/life) I might be able to say yes.
- I need to check with my supervisor/coworkers and see where this fits in with the other projects we are currently working on.
- Remember the other project I’m working on for you? Do you want me to set that aside for now and concentrate on this or should I wait and finish that first?
- Oh, you need to know right now whether I can do it? Then the answers needs to be no. If you could give me a day or so to look at everything, I might be able to reprioritize some things.
- This is such a great opportunity. I wish I could take that on, but there really isn’t any room on my plate right now.
- I need a few days to look over my schedule and make sure I can give you the careful attention it deserves.
- No, I wouldn’t be able to take that on right now, but thanks for asking!
Saying “NO” is an imperative part of your responsibility to be refreshed and healthy for your residents.
You need to set a good example of a healthy lifestyle for them to follow. Many residents will come to you when they are becoming burnt out and depressed. How can you help your residents with their stress, if you are suffering from the same problem? Keeping a healthy mind, body, and soul will keep you ready for all of life’s unexpected adventures that you might miss if you are burnt out.
Submitted by Susan Tomchak, Resident Assistant, Elizabethtown College
|9 a.m.||Class||Breakfast Meeting||Class||Sleep In!||Class|
|10 a.m.||Class||In Room||Class||In Room||Class|
|1 p.m.||In Room||In Room||In Room||In Room||In Room|
|4 p.m.||In Room||Work||In Room||Work||Gym|
|5 p.m.||Gym||Work||Gym||Work||In Room|
|8 p.m.||Meeting||In Room||Meeting||In Room||Mall|
|9 p.m.||Meeting||Program w/floor||In Room||Meet w/resident||Mall|