Decisions, decisions… Have you had to make any big decisions recently? Or do you have any coming up? As children, our choices are rather simple—what clothes to wear, what we want to play with our siblings or what to watch on TV. Such decisions are often guided by the adults around us. Once we get to middle and high school, our choices become more consequence-based. This means, if we decide to play games and hang out with friends, instead of studying, we may not do so well on our tests. The same principle applies to university, don’t you think?
Many decisions often have to do with what our priorities and values are. What are your priorities and values in life? As a university student, probably your biggest priorities are getting good grades and spending time with friends. Being a student is often paired with being poor, not having much money to do what you want. But, as the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” So, if, for example, you enjoy traveling to different countries, then you have probably decided to have a part-time job in order to earn money to take a trip somewhere— in Korea, to Japan, China, or to another country.
Working to earn something for yourself is one of the best ways to understand the value of your time and what people mean when they say, “time is money.” When you understand how what you do with your time will result in what you can do with your money, you will realize the importance of earning. What you earn, in turn, influences what you spend your money on, and the decisions that come with a disposable income.
Most of your decisions are by you and for you. However, there are other decisions you make, which have an external influence on your life and that of others. For example, when you vote, be it for mayor, governor, cabinet ministers, national president, and school or class president –these individuals will make decisions that impact your life directly or indirectly. Therefore, it will serve you well to become educated about how to elect individuals to positions of power, who will represent you in some way.
One way to prepare is to become familiar with the issues that may be controversial. Read as much as you can on the topics; look at the different views presented; listen to the debates; discuss, cordially, with those close to you, and reflect on the different positions for each candidate before choosing. Your vote, for whatever office or position, will make a difference. People often think, “Ah, my ballot is only one. It won’t make much difference.” Such an attitude is misplaced, and will not get you far. If everyone would think that way, and either chooses not to vote or doesn’t prepare well, you might be disappointed with the final results.
As individuals, residents, citizens, consumers, students, young adults, and future leaders of your country, you have a voice. It’s good to start exercising that voice as soon as you can, and make it a lifelong habit. Your decision is personal. It does not have to be the same as your family members or your friends. If you do your homework and are familiar with the candidates, you are making a conscious decision, and that is your individual, human right. Exercising your voice to make decisions affecting your life in the present and the future is a step in the right direction, for you and your generation. By taking that first step, you are setting an example for future generations to do the same.