Monday, February 25, 2013

Making Decisions

What process do you undertake when you have to make decisions?

Last week, two of my former students came by the school library to work on course selection for their final year of high school. These are two wonderful teenagers whom I admire greatly and I enjoy acting as a sounding board as they contemplate what classes they want to take. One of them has a harder time choosing and agonizes over each choice. We made pro/con lists, established criteria (i.e. high marks in Grade 11 version / subjects enjoyed the most / etc.), examined university guides to ensure no doors of opportunity were closing because of dismissing certain options, and used all sorts of tools and strategies to help select the subjects. He let me know that he picked a full roster by the allotted deadline, but that, like last year, he'll probably switch a course or two in May and worry whether or not he made the right choice.

Well, it turns out that I'm in a similar situation, and like my teen counterpart, I'm agonizing over the decision making process. I've printed out the information I need to consider, made pro/con lists in my head, considered what consequences (both positive and negative) there will be for different stakeholders besides and including myself for Choice A and Choice B, and used one of my favourite (but probably least-helpful) strategies: I've asked other people for their opinions. The problem is, there's no consensus. Although everyone says to do whatever I think is best, feelings are split down the middle between Choice A and B. Like my former student, I have a feeling I know what decision I'll make, but I will still worry whether or not I made the right choice, for the right reasons.

This blog post doesn't have any words of wisdom or gems learned from trial and error - just an admission that making decisions can be really hard.

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