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  • Noa Epstein Tennenhaus

How to decide where to apply?



A conversation I had recently really inspired me and reminded me why I started Application Shine. It was with my former Global Politics student at UWC, who was debating whether to apply for her BA in the US or elsewhere. Some of us carry a conditioning about ‘having to study X in institution Y or in country Z, when in fact, that might actually be the dream of someone else — not our own. There are always alternatives, and it’s worthwhile exploring them before we narrow down our options.


What I found, when having to make big decisions while staying afloat against a stream of conflicting considerations and huge uncertainty, is that it is helpful to get some perspective — however you choose to do so… perhaps by:


  1. Hiking up a mountain and looking down at the “dolls-house” view of your own little microcosm

  2. Spending time with very old or newborn family members

  3. Playing your favourite music and just letting yourself — DANCE.


Because in the end, there is no cookie-cutter model for success or happiness. The ‘right choice’ does not exist outside of our inner-selves. It is we who make our choices right, if we approach them with a mindful attitude and rhythm.


On this note, I want to share a beautiful quote from Haruki Murakami’s book: Dance Dance Dance (1988), page 86 -


“So what do I have to do?”


“Dance,” said the Sheep Man, “Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays. Yougotta dance. Don’teventhinkwhy. Starttothink, yourfeetstop. Yourfeetstop, wegetstuck. Wegetstuck, you’restuck. Sodon’tpayanymind, nomatterhowdumb. Yougottakeepthestep. Yougottalimberup. Yougottaloosenwhatyoubolteddown. Yougottauseallyougot. Weknowyou’retired, tiredandscared. Happenstoeveryone, okay? Justdon’tletyourfeetstop.”


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