Seeking a New Perspective

High school senior, Molly Duffner, hopes to find new opinions outside of her community in a larger university.

When asked about the reason behind her love for writing, Duffner states, “Writing is a way to help me express what I am thinking, in a way that I’m not able to when I’m talking.” She expects the short story she is writing to be 30 pages long.

Molly Duffner is your typical girl next door in Fort Wayne, IN. She plays tennis for Carroll High School and likes to run. This summer, she’s even working on writing her own short story, challenging herself to write from a point of view of a girl with narcissistic personality disorder, a perspective very different from her own. Duffner lives with her parents, one older sister and an older brother and has loved growing up in Fort Wayne; however, Duffner wants to gain different experiences that Fort Wayne just cannot offer her.

Duffner grew up in a religious family, with parents that were intentional about teaching her about the Bible, and the morals that are taught and emphasized in the Christian faith. Duffner believes that these lessons from her parents have shaped the person she is today. Duffner takes the morals that she learned from both her parents and the Bible and applies them to her everyday life. Specifically, Duffner’s parents taught her to: “Use him [Jesus] as an example to be a good person even though you know you can’t live up to his standards, but he loves you regardless.”

Although Duffner’s parents were very religious themselves and made a point to teach her about the Christian faith, Duffner said that she has found her devotion to her religion independently. She had a similar experience as many children who grow up in religious families. When she was younger, she heavily relied on her parents beliefs, but as she grew older, she began to truly believe in the Christian faith, and come to think of it as her own rather than her parents religion. Duffner practices her religion in an unstructured way, she believes that religion is about having a connection with Jesus rather than having to go a certain number of church services. This allows her to further commit to her religion, becoming more and more passionate about it, one of her goals.

When going off to college, Duffner knows she wants to attend a larger university in order to gain new perspectives. Duffner specified that those contrasting points of views do not necessarily have to be political or religious, what people normally think of, but also different learning methods and just general mindsets. She finds it valuable and essential to be around people who think differently than the beliefs and thoughts that she is used to in her community. Additionally, she believes that those bigger schools will offer her opportunities that she would not want to miss out on, such as studying abroad in Spain. Studying abroad also offers her the opportunity to listen to people with different experiences and outlooks that she may not hear while staying in Indiana, or even here in the United States. Duffner maintains that a learning environment with differing outlooks is a better learning environment. She also believes that being in this diverse environment, specifically seeing other people’s perspectives and mindsets, helps to create empathy and more understanding among the community.