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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Paradox of Choice

So, in case you haven't noticed, we haven't made a decision on which graduate school to attend.  Our reasons for not knowing yet are complicated (as always), but I read and then watched two things that really helped me understand a little of how we're feeling right now.

The first one, I came across while browsing a grad school forum I frequent.  The post was entitled "Acceptance Depression?"  It was amazing how well it described my feelings.  Basically, there is so much involved in the choice, and they are all so different.  On top of that, I have fallen in love with different aspects of each one.  Whenever I start to favor one choice, I am reminded of all the reasons why I love some other choice.  I can't help but keep thinking about all the things I'll miss out on by not choosing the other schools.  To be clear, I'm not worried about choosing a bad school, only about missing out on all the great things associated with the schools we don't choose.  To make matters worse, Tom and I always seem to be favoring different schools.  For example, for quite a while I was strongly favoring School A and Tom was favoring School B.  Recently, I became a lot more amenable to School B and was beginning to see us there when Tom informs me that now he's feeling School A.  On top of that, just today I re-fell in love with School C, which had been out of mind for a while.

The video that helped me find clarity is this one.  Tom and I love TED talks, and this one was no exception.  They often have so many insights.  It not only helped me understand why I feel about this grad school decision, but also why I feel the way I do about even day to day decisions.  Hopefully, with my added understanding I can learn to make decisions in a more care free way and be more happy with them.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure that will apply to the grad school decision...

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