A), B), C), D)?

If there’s one thing I love, it’s not knowing what’s going to happen next.

As university students, I’m sure many of you reading this share my sentiments on the multitude of choices we have to make.

We face millions of decisions, not only about what program to choose or which classes to take.

We need to decide on our career goals, our extracurriculars, our social lives, our daily routines—basically anything that influences our adult-life is built during our time at Queen’s. It’s exciting to think that this is probably the one time in our lives when this many different doors are open to us … but then comes the nerve-racking question we all face, “now where do I go from here?”

This isn’t a matter of my friends and I being a group of unmotivated slackers. I’ve seen this indecisiveness in peers all around me.

The first day of one of my biology tutorials my TA asked us to introduce ourselves and say what we wanted to do with our degree, it quickly became laughable once we heard “… and I have no idea what I want to do once I graduate” for the 20th time.

I recently came upon an interesting TED Talks lecture where psychologist Barry Schwartz examined the paradox of choice and how having too many options ultimately harms us.

According to him, when we are faced with too many choices we enter a state of paralysis where we find it very difficult to make a decision at all.

If we do overcome this paralysis we will end up unsatisfied with our decision because there will always be the possibility that we could have made a better choice.

Unfortunately this sounds all too familiar, but is this indecisiveness a plague on our university-years?

I don’t think it has to be.

We should feel privileged to even have the problem of too many options for a degree or career, and beyond that I think we need to learn how to enjoy the variability in our futures.

My advice, as someone who has no expertise other than making rash decisions my entire life (did I mention I switched my university acceptance from U of T to Queen’s so last-minute that it almost didn’t go through?), is that we should just stop stressing about the outcomes and make decisions now.

It may seem easier to push off a decision, but it’s only once you choose something that you can truly realize if it’s the right path to follow, and if it turns out to not be the one you want, then your time at Queen’s is the perfect time to change that.

Just enjoy life for what it is, ever-changing yet always in your hands ... that is, if you make a decision.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.