Learn how to say “no.”

For the first event of Career Ser­vices’ Senior Series, 51 stu­dents said they would be there. Only 14 showed up.

Even with the guar­antee of dis­counted drinks and a guest lec­turer, nearly 40 stu­dents simply did not come, after RSVPing that they would, without expla­nation or warning, according to Student Affair Mentor Jenna Biggs, who orga­nized the event.

 Unfor­tu­nately, stu­dents bailing on their com­mit­ments is not unprece­dented. Days fill up and schedules get crowded, forcing stu­dents to shuffle pri­or­ities and some­times skip things they planned to commit to.

Hillsdale is full of ambi­tious, involved stu­dents who want to do it all. Saying “yes” is the easy thing to do, but it’s not always the right thing. There is value in learning to decline an offer.

The hectic, stressful college life is not an excuse to drop respon­si­bil­ities. Pledging to do some­thing and then failing to follow through is worse than simply declining in the first place.

If working a job is more valuable than running a club, don’t take a lead­ership position. If writing for a campus pub­li­cation is more important than attending an event, don’t reserve a seat. If playing intra­mural sports is a better use of time than joining a Greek house, don’t sign up for recruitment.

Per­sonal respon­si­bility is not just about bal­ancing a schedule; it’s about setting it up for success right from the get-go. College is a time to practice per­sonal respon­si­bility, and properly man­aging a schedule is part of that. Think care­fully before taking on extra tasks, because an important part of growth is learning to commit, but not overextend.