Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On Choosing Wisely

Eric Zorn points to some silly methods of picking a college and then dishes some good advice for parents on how to properly pick one. Yes, there is a right way to make such life-altering decisions and then there are the methods people really use. I guess it’s the difference between using your head and going with your heart.

My choice of colleges was, as most of you know, SIU Carbondale. I’m not sure I seriously considered going anywhere else. My reasons for picking SIU were, in no particular order, as follows:
- It was as far away from home as I could get and still pay in-state tuition.

- I was kinda, sorta familiar with the area having visited relatives in near Carbondale on numerous occasions as a child. Besides, my reasoning went, if I did have some sort of emergency there was family nearby.

- I liked the beauty of Southern Illinois.

- It was warmer in Southern Illinois than anywhere else in the state. I think I had visions of year-round snow drifts in the streets of, say, DeKalb and that didn’t interest me.

- SIU had a reputation as a party school and that sounded like a good thing to me at the time. I figured you could learn things anywhere so why not maximize the after hours fun.

- I worked with a couple of very recent SIU grads at the bookstore my senior year in high school. They talked about SIU and Carbondale all the time. I already new I could get a good sub at Booby’s before I ever stepped foot on campus.
You will notice that none of the reasons for picking SIU had anything to do with a specific field of study or even academics in general. That’s because I had no idea what I wanted to do (I still don’t but that’s for another post). I assumed I would figure that out along the way, or at least have fun trying.

I may have made my decision for all the wrong reasons but all very human reasons. For better or worse, that’s how a lot of our decision making, big and small, goes throughout life. Some of us make well thought out and rational decisions while others seem to go from one ill-conceived adventure to the next. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, employing a mixture of rational thinking heartfelt desires.

No comments: