Hot or iced coffee? Oatmeal or a smoothie? These are the thoughts running through my mind as I’m hungrily standing in my kitchen, trying to make the right choice with the meal I’m starting my day with. Let’s be real, I know if I end up drinking hot coffee, I’ll probably regret it and wish I was sipping on something cold. The struggle is real. It’s pretty bad that I find even these miniscule little decisions difficult.
As most twenty-somethings are, I’m an extremely indecisive gal. I guess it goes hand-in-hand with my easy-going attitude. We’ve all be there where we’re trying to make plans and the conversation goes in circles. It usually goes something like this. Friend: “Where do you want to grab dinner?” Me: “Hmm, I don’t know it doesn’t matter, I eat everything.” Friend: “What are you in the mood for?” Me: “I kind of want something light but I also have been craving Mexican, but that’s so not healthy…” And the conversation continues this way for another possible 10 minutes until we just stay in and raid the pantry/fridge and eat whatever is there because we couldn’t decide on where to go.
Maybe another factor to indecisiveness in your twenties is money. You want to make the right decision because money is usually pretty tight at this age and who wants to waste $20 on a lousy salad or $40 on a new top that isn’t even that cute but you buy it for the sake of it. I know when I’m trying to decide on something; I always keep the money factor in the back of my mind. I work hard for my money and I want to make sure I’m spending it wisely, so that makes my decision making process even more difficult (if that was possible).
Food and clothes is minor, but what about when it comes to bigger decisions involving school or our careers? Maybe you find yourself in the predicament of being offered an internship, but you have your plate really full with the upcoming semester and you might find yourself overwhelmed with your workload in the months to come. “I need the hands-on experience, but I don’t want my grades and GPA to suffer,” are the thoughts that will most likely pop into your mind. I personally faced a dilemma like this with having the option to return to an internship I absolutely loved, yet pay a lot of money to receive credit for it and overwhelm myself with the schedule I would have to endure.
If I was to return to the internship I had last year, I would be doing something different, but not exactly what I want to do, as it’s almost left field. Yeah, I could experience and learn something new at this internship and have another thing to add to my resume, yet I would be paying a lot of money for something I don’t really have my heart set on, and commuting to NYC a few times a week, then running to class from the internship on top of clubs and everything else I do. How worth it would this be? I literally tossed and turned for nights on end, begging my former supervisor for some more time to help make my final decision, as he needed to know soon. In the meantime, an interview popped up for another internship that was more along the lines of what I want to do with my career so that just added to my already difficult indecisiveness.
I was stressed for weeks about what to do. I didn’t want to make the wrong decision, as interviews, let alone internships, are hard to land nowadays especially with graduation right around the corner. I didn’t want to turn something down, end up regretting it and kick myself in the head for making the wrong decision for my career. I could also be overly dramatic at times, that so does not help in these situations.
I thought long and hard about the pros and cons of turning down this internship and what it was that I really feared. Like most people, I have a fear of failing and looking back and regretting things. I think one of the worst feelings is wishing you could go back and make a different choice about something.
It could be tough as a twenty-something making major decisions because as you all know, my view on your twenties is that they are the “make-it-or-break-years.” What if we make a stupid decision or just didn’t follow our instincts and “break” these years?
I think we feel as twenty-somethings that any decision thrown our way in regards to our careers and futures is major and we have to make the right decision or our lives are over. At least that’s how I think sometimes. But that’s a wrong way of thinking. We put so much pressure on ourselves to make a sensible decision. We are prone to make mistakes, make the wrong decisions and ultimately the goal is to learn from them. We can’t beat ourselves up for not always following our instincts because it does happen. As long as we give thought to our decisions and consider the repercussions of the choices we make, we’ll be fine in the end.
So I decided to not do the internship and explore my other options. It was a tough decision and I appreciate all that my supervisor did to get me back there, but I have to do what’s best for me. If something is not meant to be, it’s just not meant to be. I know something better will come my way.
We have to learn that this whole decision making process helps us be better versions of ourselves. We make the wrong choice sometimes, but it’s not the end of the world (like me may think it is). We are still young and trying to find our paths in life. Don’t be so hard on yourself and always, always follow your gut instincts.