After much thought, I’ve decided to go to Emory for grad school next year. I thought I might second guess my decision once it was made, but I’ve remained confident in my choice for the past week. I feel like I can move forward with the process now, like getting ready to move and square away details and my schedule with Emory. After going through this process, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself and decision making. Although I know I have a lot more to learn in the next year, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned about making big decisions:
1. Make a pro/con list. I know it sounds lame, but it really worked for me. Writing down the pro’s and con’s for each choice helped me think about them individually and gauge how vital each one was to my overall choice.
2. Sleep on it. Even though my choice for graduate school had to be made in one week, I didn’t force myself to decide right away. I literally used every day I was given, and made my choice on the last day. I’ve learned that sleeping on a decision and seeing how you feel the next day is more constructive than trying to force yourself to decide right away.
3. Seek good (and diverse) advice. When making a decision about your life, talk to people who know you! Although you know yourself better than anyone, sometimes friends and family can give you insights about yourself that you had not realized. One of my friends, who moved away from home to come to Duquesne, told me she though I could learn a lot by going away from Pittsburgh for the first time. This piece of advice meant a lot to me because she moved away from her home, and she knows me well. I also talked to family members and colleagues.
5. …but ultimately make the best decision for YOU! By this point in our lives, we are adults and are learning how to make our own independent decisions. Whether it’s what classes to take, whether to live on or off campus, where to work or where to go to grad school, the choice must be yours. It’s your life!