Senior column: Ava Duggin

On+the+evening+of+Friday%2C+April+1%2C+2022%2C+I+did+something+out+of+character.

Sophia Beckmann

On the evening of Friday, April 1, 2022, I did something out of character.

College: University of Missouri Columbia 

Major: Undecided 

On the evening of Friday, April 1, 2022, I did something out of character. I told my track coach I wouldn’t be at the meet Saturday morning. Then I woke up, threw on a sweatshirt and drove four hours with my dad to Iowa City, stayed for a few hours and came home. Why did my dad agree to this? Probably because taking four months to pick a college is just as stressful for him as it is for me. Whatever the case, bless his heart. 

You see, I’m not usually a spontaneous person. I don’t cancel prior commitments. I hate feeling like I’m letting others down. I’m not selfish. I like structure. And change freaks me out. 

What is happening to me?

This year I’ve asked myself that question a lot. Why was deciding to drop AP Spanish so hard? Why did I feel burnt out from running all winter? Why do I stay up so late? Why have I committed to three different colleges? Why can’t I just make up my mind? 

But it’s not rocket science. I’ve said “I don’t know” countless times because I’m terrified of “failing.” From tiny decisions like “What homework should I work on first?” to big ones like “Which college makes the most sense for me?” I’ve trained my brain to believe there’s only one right path. And when I don’t know which one to choose, I run. 

I am smart, and at the end of the day, only I know what’s best for me.”

Someone recently asked me if I trust myself. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized I don’t. I doubt myself because I focus too much on others. I care about what you think. I want your approval. I want to make you happy. I want to be as good as you. But why is it a competition?

Honestly, I don’t know. But I’m throwing up the white flag. This mindset is exhausting. I make decisions on my own all the time. I am smart, and at the end of the day, only I know what’s best for me. 

Maybe if you were in my shoes, you wouldn’t have taken a spontaneous trip to Iowa City. Maybe you wouldn’t have toured eight schools (and some twice). But so what? Do things your own way. Just mess up. What’s the worst that can happen?