My parents hated taking me out to dinner when I was in my teens--I took forever looking over the menu, paralyzed with choosing out my meal. Buffets were the best option, I could try a little of everything. I was indecisive and terrible with making decisions. I wanted to rely on coin flips, a magic 8 ball, or my parents telling me what I *should* do.
At various points in my life, I've been faced with much larger decisions than chicken or pasta. Originally from San Diego, I made the decision to attend college 3000 miles away from home. I've decided to take new jobs, move to new cities, or change apartments. I've gotten much better at making decisions, so I'm here to give my best tips for the process.
1. Write it out
I'm a big fan of lists. Of all kinds--groceries, to do, weekly events, birthdays, and so on. It calms me to get my thoughts out onto paper. As you contemplate your college decision, write out what you're thinking. It can be therapeutic to process what you're thinking through writing. Maybe that's a pro-con list of the colleges you're considering, maybe it's a reflection on what you hope to get out of your college experience. Write, write, write. Then set your writing aside and take a break.
2. Talk it out
Pick a trusted family member, friend, teacher, counselor, and talk it out. Hopefully this person knows you well and can help you think through your options. Sure, your bestie may want to go to the same college, but hopefully they can help you pick the best fit for you. Sometimes it's easy to get caught in the minutiae of your decision, so another perspective may provide just that--a new way of looking at the information and the decision you're trying to make.
3. Think about logistics
How do financial aid packages compare? What does travel look like to the campus you're considering? How about housing? Really think through what each experience would look like if you were to pick it.
And finally, 4. Trust yourself
After you've put in the work of thinking about your decision, it's time to make your choice. And once you do, trust yourself. No buyer's remorse or waffling about what you decided! I always feel a bit relieved once I've made a decision, able to get excited about that choice. Feel good about the reflection and exploration you've done to make your choice, and once you've picked your college, perhaps it's time for new college swag?