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The room is so silent I can almost hear the clock ticking. The classroom darkens from the impending storm outside as if it can sense my darkening spirit. Before I know it, my SAT answer sheet is being prematurely ripped from my desk with too many blank answers. As everyone else files out of the bleak classroom, I am left alone to my thoughts. I can’t help wondering how I ended up here. However, the answer is simple: My indecisiveness has led to my downfall yet again. I mentally retrace my steps.

I know I was well-prepared. I had spent countless months painstakingly studying and prepping for the SAT exam. I had even purchased not one, but two, SAT prep books with multiple practice tests. Despite all of this, my tragic flaw got the best of me. At first I found the SAT sections easy and uncomplicated; even I could produce a definite answer. However, as the actual test progressed, deciphering between choices on the tricky reading and math sections became an obvious struggle. Almost every question seemed to hold two answers. I foolishly spent much more time than I could afford on single questions. I left far too many blank. Even the ones I answered I filled in with doubt. All of my hard-earned grades, extensive AP classes, and vast community service would amount to nothing. No decent college will accept me, and I will have wasted my life. Unfortunately, such a dance with indecision is not unusual for me.

I would like to say this was the first and only occasion my indecisiveness has been my downfall, but it is not. For me, shopping has never been easy. Still, I am drawn to it and all the glorious opportunities it holds. For example, while shopping at the amazing UGG specialty store in NYC, I immediately wished to purchase all the boots my eyes crossed upon as I stepped into the store. Finally after much scrutinizing, I found two prospective choices: purple sequined boots glowing with personality and simple, yet classic, chocolate-colored boots. My conflict mainly resided in which color was the more appropriate and versatile. While it might seem trivial and downright silly, I wanted to choose a pair that I loved. Therefore, the question gnawed at me: Which would be worth the hundreds of dollars required? Since I had used up most of my precious time focused on the selection process, sifting through the multitude of shoes, I knew I wouldn’t have long to make a decision.

In the end, my mother became so irritated with my inability to decide that, much to my dismay, I left empty-handed. At times such as this I am forced to acknowledge that my indecisiveness will indeed lead me to miss out on other opportunities in life, both small and important. At the end of the day, owning one pair of those UGG boots would have been much better and more satisfying than none. I can only hope that we return to the UGG store next fall.

A similar incident occurred only one month later. It was the day a four-chapter AP Biology test was scheduled. This grade would be the last of the quarter. Thus, it was extremely important that I earn a high grade to maintain my average. Unfortunately, as I readied for school, my indecisiveness struck again. My room became a colorful black hole as I ripped countless outfits from their hangers. My closet is filled with great clothes; I should have been able to select something nice, but what? Maybe that blue sweater? That could be the perfect choice. Or would it? A knock at my door echoed in my ears, averting my attention. “Hey, Em, are you planning on going to school today?” The unmistakable voice of my father spoke from behind the door.

“What?” I asked in confusion. “I’ll be out soon.” I had only taken a few minutes extra in my endeavor, so it did not make sense that he was at my door. I heard him walk away after a few moments. As I turned to the growing pile of clothes at my feet, my eyes were instinctively drawn to my bedside clock as if they had a mind of their own. “What?” I gasped as the time registered. What had felt like five minutes had been actually 20! My heart sank as I realized that I had forsaken my only chance to take the test with my class. Now I would be forced to take the harder make-up test and forgo the usual ten bonus points given to balance out our scores. In this case, my indecisiveness truly had caused me a lot of trouble and concern.

As I absorb my tragic situation and pull my thoughts back to reality, I make my way out of the classroom into the harsh storm where my mother’s lone car waits in the otherwise empty parking lot. Out of the corner of my eye, I spy my discarded SAT book on the backseat; near it lies a brand new ACT book my mother has just purchased. It is time to begin again. My best hope is the ACT. I have heard that the ACT is better formulated for someone like me, who is too indecisive to perform well on the SAT. I reach back and take hold of the book, grasping it tightly to my chest. In my head, I hear my inner witches’ chant, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” I smile. “One more try?” I ask myself as the clouds lift. Maybe my demise won’t be so soon after all, and maybe, just maybe, my indecisiveness will fade with time.





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