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Being Undecided

Joined: 5/1/2013
Posts: 1
Mrs. Morales asked, “Asia, what do you what to be when you grow up?” Sitting in my little red plastic chair at the coloring table I thoughtfully considered this question while I nibbled on the back of my pink Crayola crayon. While I was chewing on my crayon, other students were following the directions on the worksheet entitled, “When I Grow Up I Want To Be…”. They busily moved their crayons back and forth as they drew pictures of their future selves. My page was left blank.

After Mrs. Morales walked away I had some time to consider what I really wanted to do. I couldn’t exclude everything I loved from the 7’’ by 5’’ rectangular box on my paper. So after some time I drew a stick figure with one pink ballet shoe, one flipper, draped in the Wonderwoman cape and dressed in a white doctor’s coat, with a firefighter’s hat, astronaut helmet, princess crown, chef hat, and a microphone and gavel in hand. My endowed stick figure also had two houses, one in Hollywood and the other White. So, as a five year old I aspired to be a ballerina-swimmer-superhero-doctor-firefighter-astronaut-princess-cook-singer-lawyer-actress-president.

I felt quite accomplished that I had drawn so much by nap time. But when Mrs. Morales returned to check my drawing she wasn’t as proud of my work as I was. My chubby fingers did their best to draw everything onto the small box upon the page. But Mrs. Morales said that I had simply scribbled all over the paper, because I couldn’t think of anything to draw. She drew a big S- on my paper, reminding me that next time, I should really listen to directions and only draw one thing. Outraged that Mrs. Morales would dare give me an unsatisfactory mark I cried all the way home from my bus into my grandmother’s waiting arms. After blubbering to her about how upset the minus sign made me feel, she patted my knee and said kindly, “You can do anything, if you set your mind to it.” I was cheered by her words and resolved to set my mind to doing truly everything.

As I grew older, I obstinately held steadfast to all of my future dreams. It wasn’t until I took my first PSAT when I realized that my indecisiveness was problematic. Before you can begin the test, you must select the number code which corresponds to your perceived college major. Given only one minute to choose, I began to panic. How does CollegeBoard expect anyone to define the course of study of college by picking only one three- digit code? My scrolling eyes stopped at Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender and Group Studies, number 142. But then I glimpsed English Language and Literature, number 520. My pencil paused, but I decided to continue looking. As I looked further down the list I saw more and more majors, all which seemed appealing. I hesitated after reaching Legal studies, Social Sciences and Music, numbers 550, 880 and 950. I tapped my pencil to my chin, but my hands couldn’t move to mark the paper.The aspiring ballerina-swimmer-superhero-doctor-firefighter-astronaut-princess-cook-singer-lawyer-actress-president was certainly pleased, but the student about to take the PSAT had only fifteen seconds left to decide upon a major. I quickly asked the proctor, “Did the option for Other, number 990, at the bottom of the page include all of the above?” She sourly shook her head and pointed her index finger to the Undecided option, number 999, below, which my left hand had covered. The only choice I could make, was to make no choice. After considering this option for a few more seconds as others started the exam, I selected Undecided.

As college approaches, I now realize that I can’t select Undecided throughout my lifetime, or do absolutely everything. When completing a multiple choice question, one can’t select choices a,b,c,d and e, or else the question will be answered incorrectly. Similarly, I now realize that I will only be able to live my life to its highest potential when I decide what I truly want to do. Beyond recognizing that in the wasted moments I spent lingering over possible college majors, I could’ve used in finishing some basic skipped standardized math questions, my mailbox and email are now so constantly flooded with information from almost every single college in America. The recipient of details on hundreds of college majors, I am certain that if I continue to live an undecided life, my life will only become as cluttered as my AOL account that currently holds 1246 emails. Recalling the young girl at her kindergarten table, I am reminded of my grandmother’s words. “You can do anything, if you set your mind to it.” But instead I now know that yes, I can do anything once I set my mind to it, but not everything.
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