I want it all – Making Choices

My husband has remarked that one of the most apt theme songs for me would be Queen’s “I want it all!” Unfortunately, while I might want it all, life demands choices. Particularly in my role of advising students. It’s all about making choices – this or that, or occasionally this and that. But having it all isn’t possible.

As we reach May 1st, students who’ve applied to the USA need to make a choice of where to deposit – where to make their choice of where they’d like to study. I’ve students right now who’ve been on various admitted day experiences. It’s very different visiting knowing this could be your ‘home’ for real, than visiting wondering if the college or university might admit you or not and hoping you might go. This is the time when students realise that they can’t go simultaneously to let’s say Harvard and Stanford – East Coast or West Coast – or Eckerd and Kenyon – Florida or Ohio.

If students have applied to multiple countries and are dependent on a conditional offer, they may deposit in the US and accept provisionally an offer in the UK say. Most offers of admission being based on final secondary school externally assessed exams. But you still have to make a choice.
In the UK, students apply to up to five universities through UCAS and then, if they have offers from all, chose a firm choice – where they will go if they meet the conditions – and an insurance choice – hopefully choosing a slightly lower offer. Explaining with A levels, firm choice university asks for AAB and the insurance choice should be lower, ABB or BBB. If both offers are the same, there’s no insurance. Miss one, you miss the other.

For other students, this is the time when they’re making choices of what subjects to choose. Students planning on the International Baccalaureate diploma have a new maths choice to make – either Analysis and Approaches or Applications and Interpretations. Universities are still coming out with policy statements. Some have said either at HL (for courses that currently require a strong math component) others are saying Analysis. As always, check, double check and check again.

Making a choice means deciding what really matters right now, at this very instant, acting on the best information that you have at this moment in time. It means engaging head and heart.
Maybe that is ‘all’… Just acting with your head ignores your heart. Just acting with your heart ignores your head. Reason and emotion. If your gut is screaming at you, I don’t like this, then ‘all’ means listening to that too.

In my opinion, the best choice is the one that is the most honest. Honest with yourself about what you like and what you don’t. Honest with yourself about who you really are.