Bri Noltie, future Tiger

Special Guest

I’m horrible at decisions. Horrible.
When I want to buy a candy bar at the store, I sit there and stare at the case until someone prompts me to hurry up, so I pick the first one I see. When I need to decide what to do Friday night with my friends, I always say “I don’t care,” and I allow everyone else to decide.
When it came to college, I again tried to make other people choose for me. I asked every person close to me what they thought I should do. But of course, they never made the decision for me and told me I had to do it myself, as if it was a life changing decision or something.
But it was.
Instead of having the normal college decision of which college to pick, I had to decide whether I wanted to swim in college or not. If you had asked me at the beginning of the year, I would have screamed, “Yes!” and told you how excited I was to get away and start a new chapter in swimming. I got letters, emails and phone calls from coaches. Not many of them really blew me away, except for Truman State. I had visited there my junior year, purely for academic purposes, and loved it. When the coach emailed me back one day saying he wanted to talk to me and have me come down to visit, I was almost brought to tears. I was so excited that I could maybe go to the college that I loved.
Then it all ended.
After weeks of stagnant responses from Truman, and me sending out emails to other schools for backups, the Truman coach replied, saying I couldn’t go there. When I read the email during A lunch one day, I couldn’t help but cry on my best friend Conner’s shoulder. Now what was I going to do?
When I got home, my mom was on a rampage. She made me email every college I was willing to swim at and force them to look at me. Then she made me do the unthinkable; she made me look at colleges that I couldn’t swim at, which meant not swimming at all. I got a lot of responses, but after William Jewell fell through, I became defeated. I started hating swim practice. My motivation decreased. At home the topic of conversation every night was if I really wanted to swim or not. Did I want to change my whole life all together?
On a whim, I visited MU with my boyfriend and our parents. We toured the campus and had a private tour of the college of education. Going in I was very reluctant, thinking that I would hate it. But I was floored. I fell in love with MU after that visit. So when I got home that night, I had to make a decision: go to MU or swim?
Again, I asked every person I knew for their perspective. I could swim at the University of Nebraska-Omaha or Drury University. Both were great options, but I just didn’t feel right about either one. All the people I asked told me it was my decision until a few told me flat out not to swim.
That hit me hard. Then when I talked to my swim coach about what was going on, and he walked me through it all, I made the decision. I was going to MU.
I know it’s cliché, but it felt like a weight was lifted. A few weeks after my decision, and a few struggles with my mom, I walked away from swimming altogether. Now, I have the excited feeling I had at the beginning of the year again.
I can’t wait to get to MU and begin college. I finally made a decision.
By guest writer Bri Noltie