Fear & Risk: Trust Your Gut About Choosing a College That’s Right For You
During the college application process, Lauryn anxiously awaited decisions from the colleges she had applied to. She had thought she wanted to attend a more prestigious university with a great academic reputation. However, when she visited those campuses, she felt something was not right for her. She could not articulate why, but she just did not see herself on these campuses for the next four years. She had visited a university that was not previously on her radar, not at the top of the academic rankings, which she didn’t think was high on her list. During the visit, she found that she immediately felt at home on this campus.
Lauryn liked everything about the second school. It had a solid academic reputation, the location was in a city but not too urban, and there appeared to be ample opportunities for her to get involved in campus life. However, she waited to commit to this university. Over the following months, she was accepted at several other universities. She was able to narrow her choice down to two. One was the university she really liked and the other met her academic expectations, but she did not like the location or size of the campus.
Experiencing a lot of confusion and inability to make a decision, she decided to write down her fears. From this exercise, she learned that she felt like people would think she was foolish if she passed on the more elite university for the smaller, more comfortable university. She was able to work through her fears and decided it was more important to follow her gut and go where she felt most comfortable.
Here are the steps Lauryn took to examine her fears and make a decision:
- She examined what it was she feared, and why she was lacking confidence in this matter, even though she was generally a confident person.
- She imagined worst-case scenarios: If what she feared happened, did she believe she would be able to cope with it? Could she deal with the possibility of being judged?
- How would she feel if he passed up the opportunity and it never came around again?
- How had she been able to deal with similar decisions in the past? What inner and external resources had she called upon to enable her to face and overcome her fear?
Join us this Friday, April 12th at the Leaders Connect Breakfast with a panel on “Late Adolescence and the Transition from High School to College”. Register here. Panel members include:Dr Karin Lutter on anxiety and depression in late adolescence
Sylvia Van Meerten on adolescents with special needs
Lauryn Humphreys and Ali Houmani on the stress of the college decision
Peter Michaelides and Ila Dadkhah on the transition from college to work
Moderated by Rob Pasick
I would be interested to know some tough decisions you have faced. How did you make the decision? Was it risky? How did it turn out?