Want to crush decision-making in college? Try thinking like a grade schooler

One of the challenges of exploring your interests as a college student is that the stakes can seem higher than ever before. What if I pick the wrong major? What if I hate my internship? Couldn’t bad choices mess up my whole life?

The team at DavisConnects recognizes that college decisions can seem pressure packed, but we don’t think the idea that students should focus on a singular, unswerving way forward is helpful. In fact, our whole program is based on the proposition that your time at Colby should be a period of bold exploration! You’re surrounded by rich resources, and President Greene has cultivated a culture of possibility in which you get to cut your own trail. Instead of imagining that your path will be linear, we encourage you to focus on your capacity to navigate and adjust course. What do you enjoy? What gives you energy? How can you do more of these things and less of…the opposite?

This is what we mean when we say we want you to ‘orient to your true north,’ our version of President Greene’s exhortation to ‘own your agency!’ From this perspective, any choice that enables you to understand your values, strengths, priorities, and skills is good and useful. A class that convinces you not to sample further in an academic department? Good! An internship that points to opportunities in a field different from your original goal? Useful!

In a recent Forbes article Matt Gandal takes a similar position, and he advises that you adopt the playful, experimental mindset that you had when you were younger. At its best, career advising focuses on curiosity and helping students “figure out what sparks their interest.” Unfortunately, too many people lack the kind of guidance and opportunities that are available to you through DavisConnects. Instead, Gandal writes, “Many discover what they love and are good at only after years of studying or working in an unrelated field, which often means wasted time and money.”

Ready to get started? Make an appointment with a member of our team today. You don’t need a plan or even specific questions! Just introduce yourself, and we can begin to offer suggestions that match your personality and work on your timetable.

By Damon Yarnell
Damon Yarnell Dean of Student and Global Advancement