2019/2020 Seoul – Koen Steenks

Choosing a destination

 People make many choices a day. What am I going to wear today? Am I going to skip my college today? Am I going to say hello to that passing acquaintance? Or what am I going to eat tonight? Totally, we make 30.000 to 35.000 choices a day. However, some choices have a bigger influence than others. If you are going to say hello or not will probably not determine the rest of your day. Within the huge amount of less important choices, there are a few very important choices. These choices do not only determine your day, but could determine your future.

One of them was whether I am going to apply for the Research Project commission. As you probably already guessed, I did apply and made it to the commission. Making this choice was difficult, because it is pretty defining for my study career. However, I was able to make this choice on my own. It is more difficult to make a collective decision. For instance, how do you come to a collective choice with eight totally different persons? That was the question we had to tackle with the Research Project commission. After we heard the fantastic news we were selected to organize a two-year lasting research project, we need to act quickly, because there was a lot of work to do. We enthusiastically start organizing the world map and make lists with all the cities with interesting themes. I could confess: these were long.

We were limited by important practical issues. Our destination should be safe, payable and must have an interesting governance related theme. These issues made our list significant shorter. But the less cities remain, the more difficult the selection process became. We held numerous discussions, within and outside our meetings. But in the end, we must end with one destination which everybody should support. Therefore, we finally had to vote. Unfortunately, my preferred destination did not win. Nevertheless, at this moment, I could say wholeheartedly that we made the right decision and are going to do a research about a very interesting topic.

Making choices always stays difficult, especially when you take them with a group. But, making choices together is extra fun, because you will experience the consequences together. Within this group process, you will make thousands of small decisions by yourself. Maybe, the passing acquaintance in the hallway has really good connections in the city you will do a research about and will a simple hello result in an imported conversation with new possibilities. So, remember, always be alert and take your choices deliberate.