There’s a few things you should know about me.

I can’t cook for myself. I enjoy putting my hair into a side braid. All I eat is Lipton chicken noodle soup. I think a barista at my local Starbucks is pretty cute. I make paper cranes for people that matter to me. I’m really not looking forward to fulfilling my two science requirements for my Arts degree. I like to sleep in as much as possible in the mornings. And I’ve made some big decisions for my future.

Change is not easy. I’m set in who I am. It isn’t much easier to be proactive and create change for myself instead of waiting for change to happen. The scariest thing is that you are making a risk. Last week, I took a risk.

I’ve got a number one priority in my life. It’s school. Even if I don’t want to make my school work my top priority, it is a commitment I made to myself and others a long time ago that I’d rock my academics. Last year, I continued the same trend that I’ve had going since high school. It’s that I say “yes” to everything and I put my service and leadership commitments first. My mother (the legendary momma bakes) says that I need to learn how to say “no.” It’s true, especially if I want to keep my commitment to my grades, somethings gotta give.

So, last week, I finally said “no” to something. I’m 18 and it’s taken me this long. I realized that I cannot have everything that I want and if school comes first for me then I actually need to free up some time to study. With that in mind, I turned down a leadership opportunity for the first time in my life. How does it feel? Sometimes I remember that I’m doing the right thing, and other days I try to convince myself that I can do it all and still get the grades I want. Saying “no” is not easy, I really don’t like it, whoever made up the word should take it back, but I hope this risk pays off. I’ve got a goal for second year and it’s hitting a certain average that I have in my head. As second year approaches, and I’ve made those hard choices that I’m going to stick to, I know that now it’s game time.

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