What is the toughest decision you ever had to make? Think back as far as you can. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to think back too far. I was faced with my toughest choice about three months ago: choosing between two schools for a Master’s degree in Accounting.
Thinking back to my senior year in high school, I already knew where I would be completing my Bachelor’s degree before I had even graduated. During my junior year, I had visited many different college campuses eager to learn about what each had to offer. After attending numerous open house events and reading about the wide range of opportunities available at each school, it was then time to apply. Early in my senior year, I was thrilled with the fact that, out of the six schools I had applied to, all six had accepted me.
As I began narrowing down my list, which became tougher as the list grew smaller, I ended up with two schools. I crossed out schools that were either too far away from home, did not value commuters, or were just not right for me. After countless weeks of debating, flipping coins, and researching, my final choice was the school that, during my previously mentioned tour, felt like home to me. It had a beautiful campus, outstanding commuter program, and reputable business school. Believe it or not, my final choice was the most expensive school from my original list of six.
Looking back, I could not be happier with my undergraduate school decision because it felt like the best fit for me at the time. It turns out I was right. Allow me to fast forward to today, approximately three months ago—déjà vu at its best. As a senior in college, I had applied to two graduate programs, which would eventually award me with a Master of Science in Accounting degree. Out of the two schools I had applied to, both had accepted me, with one being the school I was currently attending. Weeks flew by as I kept delaying my response to both schools with comments like, “This is such a tough decision, and I need more time to think about it.” After several weeks, I finally made the choice. It was by no means easy, but I knew it had to be made. I chose the school that was not the one I had been attending for the past four years. My choice was ultimately based on my evaluation of the strengths of the program, such as wide range of classes to choose from, rigor of the curriculum, and potential for job placement. It all boiled down to what was best for me. I applied only a small amount of weight to cost/tuition in making this tough decision.
So why is this important? Why write about choosing a school? Over the years, I have learned a lot about making choices when faced with a tough dilemma. In my first example, I chose the school not based on cost, but based on what was important to me, which was the school’s commitment to recognizing commuters. More recently, I chose the school based on my freedom to pick from a wide range of courses within the graduate program, which was, unlike cost, most important to me.
The moral of the story is to choose what is best for you. Ask yourself the tough questions so you can critically evaluate all of your options. At the end of the day, be proud of your choice with no regrets. Somewhere down the road you will be pleased with what your choice did for you, as you recall why you made that choice in the first place—it was made to fit you.
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