Making Life Decisions: How to Decide Between Two Great Opportunities
Decisions, decisions, decisions. We've all been there . . . some of us hundreds of times over! We have a choice between two different courses of action, and agonise over them even if both would probably lead to good outcomes. The first time that we have to make these decisions for ourselves often comes in the area of choosing a career path.
It's fantastic to have two (or more) brilliant choices ahead of you. You might feel like you're between a rock and a hard place having to make this choice, but in fact it's exactly the opposite. Expect to be successful at whatever you do, and with supportive loved ones behind you, you will never be out on a limb.
Faced with a tough decision, ask yourself if there is any way you can go in one direction without completely closing the door on the other. If it's a choice between having a year abroad on an exchange program and going to a great school at the same time as your friends, ask if the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. Be creative. Is it really black-and-white/do one thing or another, or can you identify the best parts of both and somehow combine them? This might apply to any situation where you find yourself at a crossroads.
You will no doubt form valuable friendships and have good and bad experiences regardless of whichever route you decide to go take, but if two options seem equally important to you in your life now, why not see if there is any way you can weave both together? Go to school but make it your aim to arrange a private trip abroad to work on a project with friends during your summer vacation. It'll help you learn how to raise funds (a great skill to have in life generally!), and you'll have support from people you've come to know really well. Or, go on the exchange program but tell the school what you're doing and ask them if you can start with them a bit later. Have your longer-term plan lined up before you go.
Sometimes you have a choice between something 'safe' and something which 'could be great'. Sometimes it's a short-term over a long-term choice. If you're making these decisions when you're young it's almost impossible to predict outcomes. You are facing the journey of life, which will see you change your world view countless times, and take you down all sorts of different paths - all of which will add to your wide experience of life and development of wisdom.
It's good to seek advice in these situations, and to get support. But it's important to choose a confidante who is objective and constructive, not someone who will impose their opinions on you or tell you what to do. Making decisions like this is part of life and a skill which is great to develop.
The best advice is to cover all bases and make sure you have a "Plan B" in case "Plan A" doesn't work out. Or as someone once said to me: "Always have an 'out'." Then go for it, enjoy the ride and whatever you do, plan to be your very best and learn as much as you can.