Decisions are hard!

It’s official! I have a wolverine. My son, James, has accepted his admission into the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

 

I am having all the feels. I am kvelling, extraordinarily proud, excited for all that is to come, and a little sad and anxious that he will be so far away. I am also relieved that he finally, FINALLY made a decision.

 

Sometimes having too many options can make a decision even harder. He had a great run and was accepted into 10 schools, waitlisted at 2, and rejected from 2. Based on the past few years, we were not anticipating so many choices.

 

We tried different strategies to help him:

  • We created a list of criteria to compare schools, but he had trouble deciding what criteria was most important to him.
  • We went online and did research comparing each program.
  • We looked at school and major rankings from multiple sources.

 

All that helped him narrow it down, but he wasn’t ready to commit. So, how do you make a decision?

 

This past weekend we attended admitted students’ day. He met future classmates, attended a class demo with a professor, ate in the dining hall, had a tour, and asked questions.

 

At the end of the event, his first words were, “I’m hesitating.”

 

I had one more idea up my sleeve to help him. My neighbor’s daughter is a senior at Michigan, and I arranged to meet up with her after the event. She sat with us for an hour sharing her experience, alleviating his concerns, and somewhere in the middle of the conversation he turned and said, “I’m going here.”

 

The excitement and relief on his face was everything! I am actually tearing up writing this.

 

Always looking for the lesson, here is what I took away from this experience:

  1. Give people room and time to process information and draw conclusions.
  2. Come at a decision from multiple angles, you never know which will work for you or them.
  3. Stay curious and keep asking questions.
  4. Ask for help and talk to those with experience.

 

Decisions are hard, try these tactics as you are thinking about your next big decision. Now I start this process all over again with my younger son, wish me luck!

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