I do what I do because the alternatives always sound worse

Why do I do what I do? Because the alternatives always sound worse.  Everyone weighs the options they have when they make a decision.  The driving force behind my choices consistently is which option seems the best.  The definition of the best, to me, is ever changing.  The best choice may not always be the smartest thing to do, may not be the most responsible, may not be the easiest, or the most common, but the best choice is always the one that speaks to me. 

I am on the volleyball team here at UCLA.  I had the grades and the test scores in high school to be a competitive applicant for good schools.  I was looking at playing volleyball at good schools.  But when deciding if I would attend school solely as a student or as a student athlete, I had to weigh my options.  If I choose to come to school based on my grades, I would come to school alone, without any friends or something to center myself around, but with a lot more free time and freedom to do what I wanted then I have ever experienced before. If I came to school to play volleyball I would have built in friends, resources, and a community.  I would sacrifice a lot of the individuality and time that many college students highly value; committing myself to a team, a goal, and a lot of hard work.  Being very much alone and unsupported sounded worse, and my choice was the best. 

Going into finals week last quarter, I had straight A’s and was directly coming off of my team’s dry season. My best friends all didn’t have finals on Wednesday but I did, in a class that I had a solid 95 percent in.  They were all planning on celebrating finally being able to go out.  I looked at my books and had to think about what to do.  On the one hand, I could get dressed up and go with my friends for the first time in months, have some fun and stay out too late.  Or I could sit alone in my dorm room and reread and make flashcards for something that I was pretty sure I had in the bag.  That alternative sounded worse.  That night was one of the best nights I’ve had here, and I ended up with a 3.8 last quarter.  It was not the most responsible choice, it was not the smartest option, but I went out that night because the alternative sounded much worse. 

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Comment by Jonathan Thomson on February 3, 2011 at 8:30pm
These are very logical thoughts, thanks for sharing!

I wonder, though, if there are instances in which this manner of thinking could let you down? What about dating? For now, maybe it's not so serious...

...I guess it's easier if I just share what my good friend and I realized some years ago. We had both had a series of failed relationships of varying severity and realized that neither one of us ever pursued a person or the kind of relationship we really wanted to have. It's easy to fall into situations: date someone you know if interested in you, tender-foot your way into something without really knowing what you OR the other person wants.

OK, I'm not giving out dating advice. But my friend and I realized that we had never really known what we wanted. This is actually a very hard thing to know. Many things happen accidentally, and it is easy to navigate things as they come at you in a busy environment like high school or college. But finding, on your own, for yourself, where to go on the BIG things is hard. It seems very straight forward, but is surprisingly elusive.

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