We are constantly being asked to make decisions. These could be related to education or our career. Regardless of its nature, what matters here is that decisions have to be made and these decisions not only affect our lives, but also affect other people.

When deciding a career, to what extend do you let your parents and teachers influence your decision and to what extent do you let society influence your decision? Did you choose to be a doctor because it is what you want to do in life, your parents expected you to be a doctor or because society holds the medical profession on a pedestal?

Did you choose the commerce stream for your A/Ls because all your friends chose commerce and you didn’t want to follow arts even though you love the subjects?

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook about her change of mind with regard to the field she was studying. One of the comments said that due to her change of mind she has deprived a student of the education he wanted. Of course, my friend defended herself. And her argument did seem valid, until you looked at the situation more closely.

Jagath chooses to study engineering. We all know just how few the chances of getting accepted in to a university are. After two years of studying, Jagath decides that engineering isn’t his cup of tea and drops out of university to study arts. It is obviously too late to fill his space and if he had made up his mind two years ago, someone else would have been given the opportunity to study engineering.

Jagath’s friends commend him for choosing what he loved instead of what he felt he should do. Not many are brave enough to choose what they love, especially in a society where some careers are considered better than others and personal preference is rarely considered. However, what about the opportunity that was snatched from someone who actually wanted to study engineering? Is it fair that someone couldn’t study the course of his choosing simply because another couldn’t make up his mind in time?

Of course, there are instances when difficulty of the course would make one drop out even if they have the interest. Such situations are somewhat excusable since not all of us can grasp knowledge in the same way. When studying, the way the content is taught is important. Some prefer more interactive sessions while others prefer to study on there own. However, it’s important to first see the setting at the educational institute you have chosen. If you have law students on Facebook, you’ll see that year after year, batch after batch, the students keep complaining about the difficulty of the course and also the number of notes they have to study or memorize. Thus it’s surprising that people who choose to study law are taken aback by the difficulty of the course.

So, if you have been given the warnings and you know what you are agreeing to, should you change your mind half way through? We all have the right to choose, that’s true. However, you shouldn’t be selfish. Before making a decision you should think it through completely. It is only when you have no doubts about what you’ve chosen that you should make a final decision.
Hearts change. So do minds. However, a simple change of mind shouldn’t always lead to a change in the decisions you make. This may seem unfair but it will only work that way in a world where ones actions don’t affect another. In the world we live in, however, what I do, directly or not, affects you. When making a decision, you need to be aware of this. If we look at Jagath’s decision to change his field of study, he’s robbing another student of an education and career.

So before you decide, look at all the people and things your decision affects. Do you think you would regret your decision someday or change your mind? If you would, you need to rethink your choice. You can’t always stick with a decision but you need to limit the number of times you go back on a decision. It maybe something simple, for instance, buying the last sandwich in a shop. But it could also be something big, for instance applying for a much fought for position, getting the job but leaving a few weeks later because you just didn’t feel like it anymore.
Weigh the pros and cons of any decision before you make. Be considerate and don’t be selfish. Think before you decide.