How To Take Risks

My name is Hunter Tabloff and I am a senior Environmental Science concentrator at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During my four years, I have interned with the Bay Area Climate Collaborative on sustainable energy policy, acted as the environmental policy representative for the Brown Political Forum, studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark to learn more about sustainable energy, engaged in water supply and management research to protect the Florida Everglades, and am currently the TA for the introductory environmental science course at Brown.
Before entering secondary school, college seems to be a haven of freedom and independence. You feel like a prince about to be inaugurated looking at his new crown on that giant throne and everything will be easier. It isn’t until you sit down on that throne that you realize what it exactly means to make meaningful decisions.
Alas, don’t let this new power intimidate you. Rather, embrace the challenge and test yourself. With every decision there is risk involved and acknowledging this fact is your first step to success. The following is the “equation” used to determine how risky a particular decision may be:
Risk=(Consequences)(Probability of Consequences)
Since we can’t predict the future, here are some tips to help determine whether or not you should take a risk:
What is the worst thing that can happen?
If the answer is rejection, then take the risk. Rejection is a scary thing because it feels like you’re being judged. If someone tells you “no” or that you’re not good enough, don’t give up. Denial can be used to empower or destroy your motivation. How you deal with rejection will always be your decision. So, I must ask what is the risk of giving up versus pushing forward?
Am I good enough?
This is a much more difficult question to ask. I, personally, have jumped into many classes like Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics without any of the prerequisites. Do I suggest everyone do that? Absolutely not. However, do not let someone tell you if you’re good enough. You must have confidence to continue because, once you make a choice, it’s hard to backtrack.
I took the risk and it isn’t what I thought it would be.
Well, that’s unfortunate. What isn’t going to help is crying about it. Take a deep breath and look at the whole picture. Then, make lemonade out of lemons. Always remain positive and think of the ways to turn your situation around or envision how this risk you’re now, but shouldn’t be, regretting can help. You will survive. You’re neither the first nor the last one to struggle. Support will be there.

On that note, I do not want you to be afraid of risks; if you don’t take risks, you will always work someone who does. The main idea is to calculate your risks. If you always believe in yourself, your passion, and your dreams, you will never truly fail.

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