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Choices: They’re often bigger than they seem

Choices. It’s wonderful to have them, though sometimes they seem like a curse. They give us a sense of power, of control. Yet they force us to think, to make sometimes difficult decisions.

Occasionally those decisions can be life altering. At times they can make us or break us. College is one of those places where we as students are forced to make choices every day. Do we party or study? Do we go to class or grab some extra shut eye?  Do we spend money to take an extra class and graduate early, or do we bide our time? What classes are best to take first? Who’s the best instructor for me?

Some of these answers are obvious. Sure, we should go to class. And, yes, we should pick study over party. But even those “easy” decisions are not always that easy to make. “We need to relax, we need our sleep,” we tell ourselves. And while that is true, there also needs to be a balance. But it all comes down to choices … and consequences.

Other decisions aren’t that obvious. What classes to take when, whether to accept that extra shift at work and skip a class, or whether to attend your child’s school play instead of study are choices that are not always as obvious. They require more thought, more research.  And in some cases, there is no right or wrong answer.

We simply have to decide what’s the right thing for us to do – not necessarily at this moment, but in the long run. That’s when it gets tough, because we can’t always see our future clearly, or be able to predict what hurdles we may encounter next week.  And sometimes those hurdles get in the way, especially if we waited to finish that English paper and our computer won’t open or we’re sick in bed. Stuff happens ….

But it still all comes down to choices. Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster at Hogwarts during Harry Potter’s tenure at the school, was no stranger to the importance of choices. As he said to a sometimes befuddled Potter, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

The importance of making good choices has in many instances been pounded into us by our parents. Yet we often don’t see it and understand their words until we are faced with the consequences of a bad choice.

So when you come to that next fork in the road, and you’re faced with a choice, take a moment to consider what it means to you. Treasure the fact that you even have a choice because when life dictates our destiny, we suddenly lose control. If there are no choices, that means there are no options.

With the start of this new school year, be glad you even had a choice of whether or not to attend classes. Some people didn’t. So as each choice comes up, embrace it. Don’t overthink it, but remember that a decision may not seem big today, but may end up shaping your future. Like with Harry Potter, it just may be the choice that helps define the person you truly are.

                                                                                                  The Laker Current

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