BY CAROLINE CIOFFI, LIVEGIRL MENTOR
You wake up to the screeching sound of your alarm. You contemplate hitting the snooze button, but finally decide to switch on your light instead. Looking down at your phone, you see a list of texts already filling the home screen; you know you’ll be late if you check them so you put your phone back face down on your nightstand and drag yourself into the bathroom. Still half-asleep, you pull a brush through your knotted hair, but soon give up twisting the mess into a bun on the top of your head. You throw on your favorite skinny jeans and a t-shirt and you’re ready for another day at school. It’s barely 7:00 in the morning and you’ve already had to make about a dozen choices.
Choices are everywhere and as much as I would like to tell you that all the decisions in my life have been as easy as getting ready each morning, the fact of the matter is that many of them have been not only difficult to make but, at times, really scary. And, no matter how hard I’ve tried to put some off, these daunting decisions don’t ever go away, so it’s important to learn how to deal with them.
This year, I made the choice to try cross country for the first time. Being a junior, it was pretty late for me to be starting a whole new sport; I had never run a race as long as the 2.5 mile cross country course and I didn’t even know most of the other people who had been doing cross country for the past 2 years. Not only that, but almost all my friends were playing field hockey. Would it not have been easier for me to just stick to what I was used to and what everyone expected me to do? Honestly, probably. But, then again, I had always wanted to try cross country and if I didn’t try it now, when would I ever have that chance again? Just like that, I found myself stuck in a decision I really didn’t want to make. I wished that someone else could just choose for me and, honestly, I was pretty scared that whatever decision I did make would somehow end up being the wrong one.
During this time, my mom gave me the advice to think about pros and cons. At first, I’m going to be honest, this seemed pretty dumb to me, but I was out of ideas so I sat down and I made a list. I was amazed at how much this helped me actually organize my thoughts. It helped me realize that just because playing field hockey seemed like the easiest, most straight-forward choice, it might not be the best for me at this time.
Now I’m not saying that anyone should stop and write a list of pros and cons for whether or not you snooze the alarm or that there’s anything wrong with making a choice just because it’s the easiest one. There are many everyday decisions that can be made with barely a thought. But, everyone has a few of those moments where you really honestly have no idea what to do and those are the times where it is most important to be brave.
Making decisions doesn’t have to be scary or even difficult. Next time you’re faced with a choice that seems like it might make or break you, relax, take a deep breath, and think about what is right for YOU. Be brave enough to make the best decision, not the easiest. And most of all, be strong enough to trust yourself and stand by whatever decision you do make.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Caroline Cioffi is a junior at New Canaan High School. In her free time, she likes to run cross country and track, bake, and hang out with friends. She is involved as a LiveGirl mentor and summer camp counselor.