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Articles > School August, 10, 2021

Is that really what you want? The dilemmas of life and making choices

Nadia Kusi-Appiah
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We are persuaded so easily to go for a particular choice because that is what is deemed by society as ‘the best choice’. Stop and think – is that what you really want?


With many of you making big choices about sixth forms, colleges, university and jobs. We want you to remember that everyone moves at their own pace! There are many dilemmas and big decisions to make – be sure to take a step back and think about what you really want. Nadia has provided some great tips in this article 😊 Read on!

The OpinionPanel Community editorial team

As young people, we constantly have to make big life decisions. Decisions that determine our life trajectory. The dilemma of what school or university to go to. The choice of what course to study. The questioning of what job role to take. Even who to associate ourselves with! All these things hang over our heads on a daily basis.

Back when I had to make the decision on what university to firm and what one to insure… I had so much influence from family, societal opinions and even my overindulgence in research.

With only a few days to make the decision before the deadline… I decided to take a walk, without planning the route or the time. I just decided to observe my surroundings and really think about what I wanted for myself. It was like I had an epiphany. This might be an exaggeration of the realisation I made, but to me, it felt profound.

A few hundred yards before I got home, I started to think about the school that people around me wanted to make my firm choice. I asked myself: ‘What really is your reason for picking this university? It is not like you have any real connection with the school‘.

I was forcing myself to love the school so bad just because of its name and the opportunities it provided. In the end, I chose another institution that I loved even more, although I only attended a virtual open day.

I noticed that I allowed myself to be easily influenced by many things around me and this is the same with others my age. We tend to hide our feelings, thoughts and definitions in order to accommodate others who are on a completely different walk in their life.

It might even be a parent or another adult in the family who uses the ‘I have been where you are and this is the right decision to make because it will get you from A to B in life’ line. The thing is if everyone actually gave others the chance to be vocal about their thoughts and gave them space to dwell in their energy and just breathe people would be a lot happier.

Let us be quick to listen and slow to speak. 

I have found that doing these things, albeit simple, can make a difference in providing clarification especially when I have to make pending decisions:

🌲Take a walk

As I said earlier sometimes being around nature, feeling the wind against your skin and even walking aimlessly can allow you to gently tap into your inner thoughts. It might sound hard but we need to remember that a lot of the time, less is actually more.

🙏Pray and/or Meditate

If you are religious, I would recommend saying prayers daily. Give yourself a quiet place to communicate what exactly it is you want. You can meditate by continually mentioning the specific thing or situation you want.

Remember that the popular choice is not always the best choice for you because we are all different in our own ways. You never know who you will meet and what would happen sometime from now if you follow your heart and listen to your gut. 

🗣️Speak to impartial people

Usually, the people who have no personal relation to you can see things from a completely different angle. Weighing in the pros and cons and telling you what they think would be the best choice. This could be your coach, teacher or mentor.

📵Take a break from social media

Social networks have a way of infiltrating our thoughts and causing us to compare ourselves to others. We forget that people would rather show the positive sides of their lives and keep the rest to themselves.

I find that a break from social media clears my mind, reduces my screen time – allowing me to reserve energy for more productive ventures

☀️Lastly, enjoy life!

Tough seasons make us focus so much energy on the what-ifs and hows. We would worry to the point of physical or mental exhaustion without even noticing until someone points it out.

We should understand that an unhealthy state of mind might even cause us to miss answers that may be right in front of us or simply forget to do the things we love with the people we care about. Life isn’t straightforward and can be hard to make some decisions, but don’t forget to take a break and actually enjoy it!


With results day, be sure to follow these tips! There are many big decisions to be made around this time and it’s very easy to be influenced by those around us. Advice from family, friends and teachers can be vital, but never feel pressured to do something based on society or what may be considered ‘the norm’. You do you! 💪

If you’d like any advice, feel free to get in touch via our social media inboxes.

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If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out more by Nadia 😊 As well as the other trending articles!

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  1. Daniel Sam

    I think…it’s been brilliantly written, very articulate and good points raised. Well done