Think carefully about the tissue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.
“Everyone makes hundreds of simple, spontaneous decisions daily. When the issues are not morally complex and the stakes are small, our normal instincts are sufficient. The problem comes when we don’t distinguish between minor and potentially major issues that demand a much more careful approach. But even with significant consideration, it can be very difficult to choose between two options that seem equally valuable.”
Adapted from Michael Josephson, Making Ethical Decisions
Assignment: What two options are the most difficult to choose between? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
Everyone of us needs to make tons of decisions throughout our lives. Most of the decisions are easy to make, while a few of them require much more careful considerations. Choosing the university major is definitely the hardest decision to make, as very often people are faced with two options – the major that interests them but provides a less bright future, and the one that has a better future prospect yet is less interesting. The reasons for this are that people are concerned about money, social status and their own abilities.
First, the major that we are interested in may require a larger sum of tuition but less financially rewarding in the long term than other option. Consider my own situation, I was wondering whether to study biochemistry or medicine (which is offered as an undergraduate course in my country) during my college application. Becoming a scientist and conducting research is my childhood dream, but being a doctor can enjoy a higher job security and salary. Besides, to study science in the best place in the world – the US, requires more than $50k a year, which is a couple times more expensive than to study medicine. This sad reality makes me wonder if I should pursue my dream as a scientist.
Second, one option of college major may lead to a career that has a higher social status than the one people really interested in. Take studying law and literature as an example, the former is usually more respected by people, because professionals are usually perceived to be more successful. Those who study literature might be looked down by society, unless they become Nobel Laureates in the future. Given the potential low social status, people may find it hard to decide whether to do the things they enjoy or go and seek a higher social status, which is the concern of many people.
Third, people may be uncertain of their abilities in more advanced study if they choose the major they are interested in. What we study in high schools is just introductory stuff, while the materials covered in college or even grad schools may require more natural talent. For instance, students who become fascinated by physics and aspire to become physicists after studying Newton’s Laws in high school may re-consider their ambitions again after they discover that many undergraduates fail to comprehend the more advanced theories in college. They doubt their own abilities may not be sufficient to handle the major they really like.
Most people are told to choose the fields that are interested and passionate to study, but in reality the decision does not depend on one’s interests only. Therefore, when faced with the options of interests versus future prospects when applying for college, many people find that making the appropriate decision, which can have profound impacts on their latter lives, very difficult.
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