I may or may not be the least decisive person I know. Shocker, I can’t decide.
I text at least 10 people when choosing what to eat for breakfast, only to end up with whatever I had been craving in the first place. Coming up with Instagram captions is a nearly impossible feat, requiring careful consideration and multiple perspectives. Deciding which color notebook to match with which subject? Don’t even get me started. Yet aside from being undoubtedly annoying, my indecisiveness was never much of an issue. My family and friends were always there, just one FaceTime call away, to navigate me through the most inane decisions.
In elementary school, the social scene revolved primarily around sports. There was no such thing as a “bad athlete,” all parents convinced that with enough practice and drive their child could be the next Derek Jeter. Similar to most kids in my grade, I tried out a little bit of everything. Travel soccer was especially popular, and the majority of my friends played on the team.
While participation was valued more than talent at this age, to put it bluntly my soccer skills were subpar at best. As time progressed, the sport that had once been relaxed and carefree gradually became more competitive. Not only was I far from the next soccer star, but I was no longer enjoying myself. I became anxious before practices that I had previously looked forward to, and I dreaded being put in the lineup. My friends and I complained relentlessly about drills and scrimmages, yet every fall we all continued to try out for the team like clockwork.
While I knew I was stuck in this unpleasant cycle, in my typical indecisive fashion, I struggled choosing a course of action. As the following soccer season approached, my teammates encouraged me to stick it out for another year. My parents said that the choice was completely up to me. The weight of this decision, choosing whether or not to continue playing on the sixth grade travel soccer team, was huge. At the time, it felt like life or death.
After much deliberation I decided to retire from my blossoming soccer career. As I like to put it, I was the “trendsetter of quitting,” several of my other friends similarly leaving the team the next year. I know what you’re thinking …. quitting is not something usually encouraged, let alone celebrated. Even so, I had finally made the choice that made me happy. I was no longer anxious and was able to spend my free time doing things that I actually enjoyed. I eventually switched my focus to tennis, a sport that I was genuinely excited about and played through senior year.
But as I got older, each decision I made seemed to carry more and more weight. With my senior year of high school approaching, I geared up to make the one decision that mattered slightly more than leaving the soccer team. Me, someone who struggled to decide what milk to put in her coffee, now had to choose a university to attend for the next four years.
College was a constant topic of conversation during the school day, everyone opinionated and eager to give his or her own perspectives. As someone who seeks validation, I find comfort in being told that I am making the right decisions. Yet while I sought guidance from family and friends, I quickly realized that asking 100 different people for advice will get you 100 different opinions.
Using the same mentality that sixth grade me had used when deciding to transition sports teams, I knew that not even my most trusted confidants would be able to make this decision for me. Following my gut, I applied Early Decision to Lehigh University. I didn’t second guess myself, and it was the best choice I have ever made.
Choosing a school was certainly not the first nor the last tough decision I will make. Life is a seemingly endless series of choices, some trivial and others that will impact you in the long run. While I will admit that I do still struggle deciding between avocado toast or oatmeal for breakfast — I usually opt for avocado toast — such minor decisions are not worth overthinking. Regardless of magnitude, I know that if I don’t ultimately choose to do what makes me happy, even the approval of 99 other people won’t be enough.