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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

OPINION: Spontaneity and happiness go hand in hand

opspontaneous-illo

Over the last month, I’ve tried to be more spontaneous, because typically I’m the least spontaneous person ever. I always need a plan and to know the when, where, and who of every situation. I’ve been trying to get out of needing to know everything that’s going on because I feel it has made me more stressed out.  

Last week on a whim, I got a new piercing with a friend. Usually, I’m not the type to immediately say yes to things like that but when she said I should go, I said “Of course!” After the piercing, I had no regrets or second thoughts about it. It made me want to get more and opened my eyes to how fun being spontaneous is.  

I feel when I’m spontaneous, I have more fun. An article from The Guardian says, “While we often think anticipation is half the fun, in 2016 researchers from two US universities found that people enjoyed activities more when they were impromptu.” To me, this research is nothing but accurate. All the times where I’ve gone out with no prior plans, I’ve had the most fun.  

Always having set plans can be stressful. Having to think about what you’re doing next and worrying about timeframes can cause unnecessary anxiety. Letting plans happen and going with the flow has balanced my life more. Of course, there are times when you must be more structured. But if you can afford to be spontaneous, do it because you never know what may come of it.  

Even movies highlight how great spontaneity can be. In the movie “The Longest Ride,” Sophia the main character, wanted to stay in and study. Her friends, however, convinced her to go out to the rodeo. In going to the rodeo, Sophia finds Luke, her true love. If Sophia wasn’t spontaneous, she wouldn’t have found Luke and her life would have been very different. There’s no way to know what her life would’ve been like if she had just stayed in, however, we were able to see her life change for the better.

While movies are often fictious and inaccurate, I think this general plot line is underlyingly apt.  

I recently booked a flight to New York and was quite nervous about it, thinking about the classes I’ll miss, the price, and more. I called up my mom to get her opinion on if I should go and she told me the memories I will make outweigh my worries. I think this is one of the best pieces of advice I could have gotten. She’s always been spontaneous, even when we travel. We never have a set plan; it's always go with the flow. A lot of my friends go on vacation with an itinerary of sorts but not my mom and me. Now I understand why she thinks being spontaneous is so great.  

I’m working on being more spontaneous. From my piercing and my New York trip, I’ve realized how much joy and adventure being spontaneous brings. While there is a chance you may regret that night out or whatever it may be, there’s a greater chance you will make an unforgettable memory.  

Faith Badgley (she/her) is a freshman studying media advertising.   

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