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Do you regret your decision?


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First off, I'm sorry if this question has been posted before. I'm fairly new to this forum, so I might have missed something posted not too long ago, though I did go back a few pages and do a quick search....

OK so here's my question. For those of you in a grad program right now...do you ever regret the school you chose? Or do you ever wonder if another school would have been a better choice for you? If so...why do you think that is? Did you get sucked in by a Brand Name, or was it a money issue, or what? I'm sure there are a million possible reasons, but I'd love to know yours.

I'm trying to pick between the schools that have admitted me for this coming summer/fall and I'm getting more and more terrified with every passing day. I thought I knew what I wanted, and then.... Sigh. I don't know, I guess I'd just like to hear from others who were torn while deciding, and if their decision worked out for them -- or didn't. And what they'd do if they could turn back the clock.

If that even makes any sense.

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You can't know if you'll regret the decision until you get there, and even then... maybe you won't know until you are ready to write a dissertation, or on the job market, or whatever. It's stressful to make a decision if you have a number of options precisely because you can't know.

If I were you, I wouldn't go looking for horror stories/whatever from other people who made the wrong decision; the only thing that does is put more pressure on you to make the right one. If you think you know which school is right for you, and it's just fear of making a mistake that is stopping you from deciding, well, that's never going to go away. Make the decision, take a deep breath, and relax for a few months.

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I had a horrible HORRIBLE time making a choice. It was last year and I was stuck between two schools. The problem was that each school had things I liked and things I did not like, and they were conflicting (for example, school A had low cost of living and high pay but was in an area I really did not want to be in for five years, school B had the opposite). I look back on my journal from this time in my life and it gives me a stomach ache. Everyone was telling me "listen to your gut" and ever day it would say something different. I'd wake up thinking- yep school A is it, and go to bed sure that it was school B. Something pretty incredible happened to me though. At the last minute I heard from a school I wasn't expecting to, and suddenly everything cleared up. I chose school C and it became clear that while school A and B were both great (the people at both are phenomenal, kind and brilliant) neither was quite the right "fit". If I had made a choice between A or B, I am sure I would be happy with that choice, they were both good choices after all...

I agree with the above:

If you think you know which school is right for you, and it's just fear of making a mistake that is stopping you from deciding, well, that's never going to go away. Make the decision, take a deep breath, and relax for a few months.

However, if you're really having problems, maybe thinking outside the box will help. Look to see if you can defer and take that time to re-evaluate. Are you are really REALLY having trouble deciding (like, not getting any closer no matter how much you think about it) or are you just worried that you won't make the right choice? Because there really is no such thing as the "right choice". It's not like on a game show where they flip the card you chose and then flip all the others. The way I see it (and this may be cosmic fatalism) 15 billion years ago (or about) there was a big bang. And the gas condensed, stars formed, then galaxies, plants, life emerged on this one, then 3.5 billion years of evolution, change, continental drift and after all that here you are. Exactly where you're supposed to be. It will work out, time will help.

Again, I would just look deep inside yourself and ask if this is really more of an anxiety about making a mistake, or if you really can't decide. If your gut is telling you what's right, listen. Scientific studies have now shown the gut instinct is always much more accurate at weighing options than thought. If you're gut is not talking, maybe you should look into a 6-12 month deferral to give you some time to think (???) or something else along those lines. I learned so much about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be when I was applying. Sometimes you need to process that info too, you know?

Does that help at all? Sorry if it doesn't :)

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