Application Process · Decisions

Decision Time, The Next Step

As many of you know, it is decision time for many students. Headlines have highlighted this with the latest news about Kwasi Enin. Unlike student Kwasi Enin (article) who tweeted his preference, “Yo! Yale! Yeaaaaaaah! #Yale2018 #tooepic” before making an official announcement…for many of us, the decision may not be that clear.

Choosing “the next step” is often filled with dueling emotions of excitement and insecurity for students (and their families). From my own experience as a student, college staff, and faculty, I know these familiar emotions; they can co-exist in harmony–or more commonly, result in anxiety.

Sure, sometimes the decision can be clear. But more often, these decisions are unclear to both the student and those around them. Sometimes, all of the choices sounds good. And often times people will attempt to reassure the student with words of encouragement which only appear to perpetuate the immediacy of the decision.

Now sure, there are much worse things to be worried about than college. Having attended four as a student and worked for three other colleges as a faculty member, I know that there are worse “problems” to have, but this is different. This is a good problem–and as many can attest, good problems are hard to come by. However, this is not an argument about the breadth of this decision but the process of decision making.

Sometimes the choices are very different.

Today I am faced with a different type of decision–do I continue my studies or put my efforts towards teaching at the college level with the credentials that I currently possess. At last, the deadline is wearing thin.

I don’t consider myself a day dreamer but lately, I can’t help but think a trip into the wilderness might help me make sense of it all:

My mind drifts to thee mountains  I picture a place with an elevation so high that you can’t help but take in the fresh air. The scenery is so captivating that not even the sounds of the birds and whipping trees can interrupt. Where the focus is simply on, “just being.” There, you realize that your purpose is to be present in every moment.

Though at this moment my decision is not any clearer, I am confident that the correct path will present itself as I walk near. I will take in all that I know and embrace the decision that I make–knowing that unless one is ‘closed’ upon my arrival, both are worthwhile.

In life we can face very different decisions and even two great and positive decisions can bring us excitement and insecurity. In these situations, we can only pray that these feelings can co-exist in harmony…that we will have peace before making the choice.

Faith is the only way I know how to gain peace in the midst of anxiety.

Though seldom [a late 90s or early 2000s] Christian praise song floods my mind when I reflect, today is an exception. I am reminded of a song that was often played at churches and youth groups. Though the singing or instruments may not be of desired quality–I am drawn to the words. The lyrics repeat, “I walk by faith, Each step by faith…”

May you be inspired today and find peace in the midst of anxiety.




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