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Academic Mentoring Resources: Boundaries

Productive Boundaries

Creating Good Boundaries

To create your boundaries, you need to know what’s important to you. Consider listing your values and goals so you can assess where boundaries need to be added or redrawn in your life. Don't let all of your boundaries be recognized when you are put in an uncomfortable situation; think about what they are now and be specific if you can. Ask someone you trust for help in establishing boundaries, but remember that these are for you. After you decide what they are, be sure to communicate them respectfully to the people around you as needed. If accountability is helpful, share them with a friend, mentor or family so they can encourage you. 

What are Boundaries?



Boundaries can be placed on yourself and others to protect you or keep you on your intended path. Personal boundaries can be in place in protect your time and values, while social ones promote healthy relationships between you and your peers.



Boundaries on Yourself

Putting boundaries on yourself can allow you to grow and reach your goals by reminding you of what you can control. Some examples of this type can include:

  • Sticking to a tight sleep schedule
  • Scheduling your “free time” and committing to schoolwork during “study time"; Sometimes this means you need to say “no” to hanging out with friends or hobbies
  • Devotionals before Netflix
  • Turning off your phone at a certain point before bed or during study sessions
  • Choosing to healthy food that fuels you
  • Saying no to temptations to guard your mind, body and soul

Boundaries on Others

Boundaries placed between you and others protect your time and personal well being from others' actions.

  • Choosing good friendships that have similar values and respect your boundaries
  • Letting your peers and family know what you priorities are (ex. “I want to hangout with you, but I have to finish this paper first.” or “I want to help you with this task, but I have a lot of other commitments right now....”)
  • Balancing home instability or distractions with the demands of college (“I don’t have time to text you all day, everyday, so let’s plan one specific time each week so that we can connect.”)
  • Sharing when you feel your boundaries are crossed (“This makes me uncomfortable” or “I feel disrespected when...”)