Relax. This is not a blog where I'll explain to you the basics of economics, nor am I planning to give you a big lesson on supply/demand. For now, there's only one thing you need to know: in a nutshell, economics is the study of human choice. It's a social science that inquires circumstances and situations, and how different individuals react to them. Now, under that definition, pretty much anything can be considered economics. Deciding whether you should go out or stay in, choosing between catching the bus or simply driving, finishing your homework today or doing it tomorrow. Just about any decision you make in life, in a way, is related to economics, because there will always be a cost and a benefit, a risk and a reward. Full disclosure, I'm no expert in economics. In fact, I'm as clueless as one can be. But just this week I learned a few concepts that provided me with the insight I needed to deal with this incognito 'economic' dilemma that I've been having.
Over this summer break I only had one goal in mind: finalize my college application lists. It's a reasonable objective given that I'd have two full months to accomplish it. Yet, after eight weeks, one trip and thirteen universities, I was more confused than ever. To better understand my problem, you should know that settling on a university is not just that. There are a lot of factors that go into the decision and a lot of factors that the decision will affect. As you may already know, my dream is to study biology at an undergraduate level, go on to med school and hopefully someday be called Dr. Fischman. While this may sound good on paper, it's easier said than done. It has increasingly become harder for international students to be accepted into med school, and with the odds against me, I had to choose the university that would allow me to flourish as a learner and reach my fullest potential.
For starters, you must realize that my biggest incentive here was my dream. And while good in nature, powerful incentives can shape the way you think. In order to be accepted into med school, I had to find a university rigorous enough to be considered, yet not as competitive in student body, one that would offer a good program but not a low acceptance rate. I could have gone on forever stating the specifications for my dream school, but I realized that I wasn't getting anywhere with that, and at that moment I thought back to economics.
I was going into a career that offered high risk and high reward, due to this, I was under a lot of pressure. With so many thoughts in mind, I decided to build a pro and con list to help me figure it out, and thus I began the longest list I would ever write. As I scribbled and scribbled on my legal notepad, I began to notice a trend. I realized that many of my concerns were based on lack of knowledge, and I knew I had to take action.
In the real world, you can't expect someone to make an important decision when they are not well informed. Smart choices are all about gathering varied perspectives and building a strong conclusion. While visiting universities had allowed me to receive a lot of knowledge, I had just grasped the surface of things, and I had to dig deeper. I began to seek professional advice, talk to counselors and look for online reviews. I must have spent hours on the web before I got to a place where I was on the edge of deciding. I contacted a college guru who agreed to help me by phone, over the next few weeks, and for once I finally felt relieved.
I don't think I'd ever want to be an economist, but I do know that in any given profession I am going to have to make important decisions. As a future doctor, my choices will have the power to change the life of patients, so it is important to be aware of how to make informed decisions. Economics is all around us; Go to dinner or eat at home, watch Netflix or go to sleep, it's all about economics. Due to this, it is important to understand yourself, your situation and your options to choose from. And as for me, I sure know that next time I'm faced with an important choice to make, I'll stop and evaluate the situation, because every decision in life has a cost and a benefit, a risk and a reward.
“The earth has music for those who listen.”