Life is not an ice cream store

Jun 15 2014 Published by under Academia, Decisions, life in the lab

In an ice cream store, all the flavors lay next to each other and you can compare what they look like or even sample the taste before deciding which one you want. In real life, choices are rarely ever like that. There's almost never two jobs right next to each other so you can compare. And whereas for ice cream it's pretty easy to predict what your experience will be, with jobs you will never know until you do it. So instead of strawberry or chocolate, the choice can be: struggle to hopefully get a grant and stay in academia or transfer into something unknown. And also, having lived your life thinking you're a chocolate ice cream person and then toying with the idea of ordering strawberry is a little confusing. I guess the comforting thing is that there is no alternative universe to see if you've made the right decision. And in the end, I tend to be happy with whatever ice cream I choose.

3 responses so far

  • potnia theron says:

    Life is not a ceteris paribus experiment. Being happy with what you can chose is a gift/talent that not everyone learns.

  • Julian Frost says:

    To extend the analogy further, a flavour can differ across ice cream stores, much the same way that a job can be slightly different at different companies.

  • Leah says:

    I always think this when I hear students complain about having to pick a college. I too remember the choice being grueling, but picking between jobs is much more difficult.

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