It started off as a summer bucket list item: say yes to everything for a day. That day turned into a couple of months, then years, and the concept is now something that I practice every single day. Say yes to everything.
Most opportunities do not come twice, so never waste an opportunity that comes up. I have a widget on my phone that says “do something today that your future self will thank you for,” because there is nothing worse than missing out on an opportunity that could have changed your life.
At Lehigh, opportunities are never missed all together. Instead, someone else will take the ones you miss. Since my first day at Lehigh, I have been saying yes to every single opportunity that has presented itself to me, no matter how unprepared I felt about it. I walked blindly, and the outcome has been better than I could have ever imagined.
Being a “yes person” brings an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I feel extremely indebted to the resources that allow me to even attend Lehigh, as well as the incredible people I have met here who said yes before me.
My freshman year roommate worked on her high school newspaper for many years, so when she asked if I wanted to work on Lehigh’s newspaper with her, I said yes. Now, I am a reporter and associate news editor for The Brown and White. Thank you, Felicity.
I never knew what a “TRAC fellow” was until I became one this year after accepting my nomination from an anonymous professor and applying to the program. TRAC has since become one of my favorite campus commitments. Thank you to the professor who nominated me.
Last fall, when my orientation leader texted in our GroupMe saying we should all apply to be orientation leaders ourselves, I said yes and did. After submitting an application, going through the interview process and training for over a hundred hours, the experience of being an OL changed my life for the better. Thank you, Chrissy.
When an older member of my sorority suggested I audition for an a cappella group, I did it solely to overcome my fear and irrational embarrassment of singing in public. Now, I’m a new member of The Echoes a cappella group at Lehigh. Thank you, Sam.
Being part of The Brown and White, TRAC, OLs and an a cappella group are only some of the opportunities that I have been given at Lehigh. None of them are related to my major in any sense, and who knows if I will pursue these areas after graduation in my future career.
What matters is the present and taking advantage of every single resource available to every student at Lehigh. These four years are a precious, fleeting fraction of time compared to the rest of our lives. Most of the world’s population doesn’t get to have this era dedicated to exploring different niches and to saying yes.
So, why not?
This mindset should not pertain to every situation, especially ones where you must harness the skill of disagreeing. Difficult conversations are a crucial aspect of life, and so is saying no.
Say yes with an open mind, and no without fear.
Never conform to norms that don’t align with your moral compass, and don’t be afraid to have opinions about things. The world needs more people who are willing to stand up for what is right and advocate for their opinions, especially when it benefits the greater good.
But in general, say yes. Saying yes will make a difference in your life and hopefully in the lives of those around you.
Say yes to becoming involved in campus organizations even when you don’t have friends involved, say yes to learning a new language, say yes to joining a club that sounds interesting, say yes when a stranger asks you to get lunch, say yes to going on a Target run, say yes to every volunteer opportunity and say yes to dinners with old friends.
No matter how much time you think you don’t have, how tired you think you are or how bad at something you think you’ll be, you will gain more from saying yes than what you will lose from it.
So be a yes person, and say yes to life.