I Believe in Indecision

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I just finished my sophomore year at Penn State. The school boasts thousands of students, hundreds of clubs and an endless number of opportunities. With all those choices, you may wonder how I managed to achieve anything in college. Well I’ll tell you how: I’m a firm believer in indecision.

When I started my academic journey, I thought: what clubs should I join? Where should I live? What should I study? But just as the number of possibilities began to get overwhelming, my indecisiveness began to pay off.

Fall of my freshman year, I walked aimlessly through the Involvement Fair, where tons of clubs advertised themselves to potential new members. My curious looks and wondering eyes attracted pitches from every organization I passed.

I didn’t know which of these groups would be my niche, so I joined a handful of them. Over the next couple of weeks, I went from meeting to meeting, from the campus life and style magazine to the comedy club. Because I couldn’t make up my mind, I didn’t rule out any club immediately. I learned a lot about my campus and myself in the process.

Trying to pick from an array of options can be a struggle. Sometimes the challenge of trying to figure out what’s right and what isn’t becomes overwhelming. But instead of shying away from making a decision out of the fear of making the wrong choice, I embrace the opportunities that come with making many choices. I don’t limit myself. That way, if I go down the wrong path, it’s not too late to backtrack and choose a different one.

When I’m assigned papers in my English and communications classes where I can choose my own topic, I experiment with my options. I spend the week writing the same paper about eight times, all with different topics, until I find the one I like. I actually wrote about 4 beliefs before I settled on this one. It may seem like I waste time writing papers I never turn in. But I like to see the process as a way of generating thoughts and improving my writing.

I’ve also learned, when I finally do make a decision about something, my determination in that decision becomes even stronger . I saw this determination at work when I chose to stick with Penn State’s life and style magazine, Valley, instead of doing PR for the comedy club. (And it turns out I’m not that funny anyway.)

I wouldn’t have figured out which job I was more passionate about if I hadn’t tried both. But once I’d worked with each club, I knew that working with Valley was what I really wanted. And I put all of my effort into my Valley work.

I believe in exploring all possibilities. Embracing the endless options bouncing around in your head can fuel you to go outside of your comfort zone. I know I’ve done that a lot since coming to Penn State. I believe in indecisiveness.

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