This fall has been one of the most confusing and tumultuous terms of my time at Dartmouth. After conducting a brief survey of miscellaneous Decibelles and members of the Dartmouth staff, I can safely say that this seems to be a consensus among both my upperclassman and underclassman friends. I think there’s just something about beginning again that causes us to take stock of our lives and the directions in which we are headed. Many people I’ve talked to have felt that important life decisions are just passing them by — sometimes they have the strength and wherewithal to reach out and change their trajectory, and sometimes they don’t. In the past few weeks, I’ve felt as though I’ve made many important life decisions, yet am unsure if I’m actually qualified to make them. The importance and relevance of these choices range from splurging on a full cheesecake from Salt Hill for my writers to cutting my losses and ending my stint with corporate recruiting while trying to keep my head held high. Am I mature enough to make decisions about my future as a 21-year-old college senior? Frankly, who knows.
In the midst of all this tumult, it can be difficult to assess the little decisions we make on a daily basis. As I was doing some background research for this week’s centerfold, I was mesmerized by how little I understood pricing differences within the Upper Valley. I realized that I frequently do not pay enough attention to my spending, especially when I’m more focused on getting in my stats homework on time than minimizing how much I spend on my daily cup of coffee. Making big decisions, such as whether to purchase a sauce pan for $200 when I can get one that functions equally well for $20, don’t usually fall into the category of important life choices. While it can be easy to get lost in the macro, don’t let the micro become less important. As my parents keep reminding me, take it one step at a time and recognize that none of these decisions are permanent (except, according to my father, for pregnancy).