What Are Your Options?

What Are Your Options?

What Are Your Options?

Written by Di MadWriter

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine a few years ago, when she was going through a difficult time. She had just missed out on being admitted into the university. It wasn’t her first nor her third application; and we had both hoped that one would work out. It devastated her; I was really sad too.

The very first time we spoke about it, she said she wasn’t willing to go through another year of preparations and exams, registrations and more exams, only to end up with yet another disappointment. She had given up, and I could tell from the way she spoke that she meant every word of it. I simply listened to her and told her she’d be alright.

After she’d had time to process it all, we went back to that conversation. She told me she meant it when she said she wasn’t going to try anymore. Then I asked the question: what are your options?

You see, she had dreams, beautiful ones. And to achieve those dreams, she needed to study and get her degree. So when I asked what other options she had, we couldn’t find any way that she could get what she really wanted without going through school. That was all the reasons she needed to keep trying.

Sometimes, life deals you a bad hand, and you’re not sure what to do. I’ve had a lot of experiences myself. It seems as though going forward is an impossible task.

But one thing that I’ve found is this: when you clearly lay out your options on the table, it makes your decisions easier. Like when I hit a major roadblock in my early years in the university, it almost broke me. For a couple of days, I couldn’t move forward; I was stuck. But at some point, I had to lay out my options— back out or fight harder. Since it was clear to me that backing out was totally off the table, I had one option left; get back up and fight.

Make no mistake, this does not necessarily make it easier for you to scale through challenges. It only makes it more difficult for you to give up by showing you what you’ve got to lose. Then, it shows you what you have to gain if you don’t give up. And in most cases, that is all that you need to either stay in the game, or throw in the towel.

The year after my friend went through all that, we made enquiries, and she ended up applying to a different school. Turns out she only needed to try one more time. She gained admission into her desired course without hassle. I, on the other hand, got back on my feet and took on my challenges head on. It wasn’t easy. I came across even bigger ones as I forged ahead. But I didn’t let myself stay down for very long.

You must learn to be conscious of times when you find yourself saying ‘I can’t go on’ for so long, but then, you’re not giving up either. You’re just stuck. And when you eventually decide on what to do, you may have lost a lot of time, making things even harder. I always tell myself, since I’m sure I won’t give up, the only other option is to get back up really fast and start dealing with whatever it is that knocked me down. And it works for me.

You may also want to apply this whenever it gets difficult. Weigh your options. Think about what you want and how much you’re willing to give to get it. And whichever road you decide to take, go all in.

Di MadWriter

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Di MadWriter

Di MadWriter is a Nigerian storyteller and poet who fully exercises his right to laugh whenever and wherever he wants. He thinks madness is a spectrum; it is not absolute. Every new day, he chooses whether to be rigid or informal. He loves to see people laugh, or smile at least.

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Kuntala Bhattacharya

Wonderfully written and I agree on the fact that we need to weigh our options. The listing of options is important and then deciding the best.


This is great advice! Attitude is everything!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Lyssa

Thank you, Lyssa.

Cristina Petrini
I always try not to leave me too many options doing so would mean making the choice even more complex!

Di MadWriter

That’s very true. I will have to put that into account as well. Thank you, Cristina.

Britt K

Great advice. We had to do something like that here at our house a couple years ago. I had left my previous career and gone back to school (I wasn’t happy any longer in my former career). I had a couple options available to me – finding a job somewhere, returning to my old career or building my own business. The truth was, the only option that gave me everything that I wanted was my own business, however, it was also the hardest road to pick. Multiple times I had to stop and reassess my options again but I always wound up making the same choice…

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Britt K

And I believe you’re now convinced as to where you’re meant to be. That is great, Britt. Thanks for sharing.

Di Hickman

Sound advice you gave your friend. Paralyzing and doing nothing is not an option. Choose an option, but realize that it’s ok to pivot and try something else later!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Di Hickman

Yes, and true. Thanks for your addition.

Indya Shaw

Wow, it sounds quite difficult to get into university where you live. Here, you don’t need to take exams each year or anything. When you finish high school, you take exams and you get a final score, and the next year you look at what uni you can get into with that score. They will tell you beforehand if your score is good enough to get into what you want to study or not; different unis will say different things, as yours seem to do as well, judging by your friend’s story. Over here though, once you turn 21, it doesn’t matter if you even finished high school, you can still go to uni to study most subjects. You may need to prove that you have basic knowledge of reading, writing, etc, but I never finished high school and they let me in just fine!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Indya Shaw

Wow! The process here isn’t as straightforward. And I hope we improve because a lot of people are ready, but they haven’t been let in yet. Thank you, Indya.


The hardest part here is that when you are in the situation already, thinking of options is not the priority.. we always react immediately. Good points though

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Michael

That is very true, Michael. It’s why we need people around to remind us and help us through those moments. Thanks for your input.

Monidipa Dutta

Well, it took me 4 years to get in Ph.D so I agree that we need to take time and see if it is worth it. If it is, go ahead!

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Monidipa Dutta

Glad that you made it, and are happy now. It encourages us to keep aiming for what we want.

Bethan TaylorSwaine

Life is full of road blocks that pop up when we least expect them to disrupt our best laid plans, flexibility and imagination are our best friends for life as they help us navigate these challenges x

Di MadWriter

Couldn’t have said it better. Thank you, Bethan.


This is a great reminder that we have choice and we can dictate how we want out lives to go. Yes, things get hard, but still, our minds are very powerful.

Di MadWriter
Reply to  Nkem

Our minds are indeed powerful. Thank you, Nkem. These words breathe life.

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