The Importance of Saying “Yes” 

This year I’ve consciously committed to saying yes to more opportunities. As an undergraduate student I commuted to school, and because of this I was a lot more hesitant about the opportunities I took within my school community. This was due to a mix of things. The main reason being that I simply felt more comfortable at home.  Safety was also a real concern and many of the organizations and projects I wanted to be a part of met later in the evening. I admittedly held myself back from a lot of opportunities, and by the time I realized that, it was too late. We entered the pandemic, and I had a strong sense that the opportunities had officially passed me. 

Gloria Rivera

Over the last 2-3 years I have spent a lot of time growing into someone who has become much more outgoing in every corner of their life. I love the idea of being able to be present in my personal and professional community. I love meeting new people and collaborating on projects that I never thought I’d be a part of. But, I owe that ability to one big thing. 

The decision to say “yes” is one that I think people don’t ever realize how big of a difference it makes. When I decided to finally come back to grad school, I knew that in some ways it was a chance to “make right” on the things I felt I did wrong* before. 

*Before I continue, I would like to say that I don’t actually believe saying no was “wrong.” I continued to set a boundary that was comfortable for me as I navigated a new school, adulthood and being responsible for my own time and commitments. Boundaries are okay, in fact they are excellent when deciding what you are comfortable with. I considered what life would look like if I pushed my boundaries because I knew something was not working for me. It’s important to listen to your body and mind when approaching new environments! 

4 animated images of people shaking hands, hanging out, a broadcaster reporting on a basketball game and a person conducting an interview
Graphic created by Gloria Rivera using Canva

Coming to Newhouse was one of those opportunities that made me realize just how much the world has to offer. I am involved in a podcast, on two Orange Television Network shows and am always busy. If nothing else, I am building a dense resume in 10 months that makes me more of a candidate for roles who are looking for someone with a multitude of skills. But, further than that I am finally tapped into my academic space and creating the community I have always wanted.  

I will also, of course, remind you to take care of yourself and to not put too much pressure on yourself. And definitely don’t bite off more than you can chew. But, I’ll encourage you to consider how your life may be different if you just said “yes.” 

Gloria Rivera is a graduate student in the Goldring arts journalism and communications program at the Newhouse School.