Financial Literacy
For Your Future



Should I Graduate From My Post High School Program?

It might seem strange that this application advocates thinking about and making a choice regarding a choice you have already worked so hard in making. However, the need for rethinking the choices already made is based upon the realization that we live in a world of constant change. The one thing for sure is nothing is for sure principle forces all good decision makers to reassess choices made as personal values change, knowledge levels change, goals change, income changes, our surroundings change, our friends change, you get grade reports,…you get the picture. What was a good choice in the past may not be the best today. 

Some people find it difficult to accept this notion of rethinking good choices perhaps because of the hard work already invested in the choice or the idea that changing one’s mind seems noncommittal or “wishy washy”. The best way to get over this “blind spot to good decision making” is to recall what was discussed about marginal thinking early in this website. Remember marginal thinking says that good choices should not be made using past information or experience, but only future views.  Evaluate additional expected benefits versus additional expected costs and make a forward looking choice. This marginal thinking process may not change the original choice that was made, but it might. Even if the rethinking causes the same choice to be made, you should be more comfortable with your choice. You may recall that a choice to go out to the movies with your favorite friend (a great choice early on) could be changed quickly if your friend fell the day of the date and broke a bone.

Using this perspective, the question discussed here is whether you should graduate from the training/educational program you choose weeks, months, or years earlier. It is very possible that your quick answer is “of course I will finish, after all I have invested a lot into the program already”. This is a classic response that many people make and it is bad choice making because it is not marginal thinking it is sunk cost decision making. Sunk cost decision making means past events are influencing future choices. Remember the date with your clumsy friend.  Once you have internalized the concept of marginal thinking, the process of rethinking the post high school program decision is simple. Just identify and weigh the expected additional benefits of completing the program with the expected additional costs of completing the program. This rethinking is basically using the decision making guide one more time from a different time frame’s perspective. 

When people get use to thinking on the margin, rethinking becomes a basic personality trait and they find that all longer term choices fit into this good choice making paradigm.  

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