bridieBridie is in the sixth form and she is deciding whether or not to go to university. It is clearly a big decision with strong external factors bearing upon it, like the debt she will accumulate and whether going will really help her get a better job.

There is plenty of (sometimes conflicting) advice available from her parents and the career advisor at school. Neither of her brothers went to uni, but many of her friends will be going. She is interested in English literature and drama and is predicted to get good-enough grades to go, but she’s not at all sure she wants to.

The question she brought to the Medicine Wheel model of the Life Editor in December 2012 was “Shall I go to university?” The answer she gave her question was a clear ‘No’ with an overall score of 35%.
“It was a very different way of thinking about things and brought up things that I just wouldn’t have considered. Like what would my ancestors say about it. I thought how my maternal grandfather would have said ‘yes, definitely go’, and his wife would have agreed that it would provide ‘stability’. But my paternal grandmother always said ‘do what makes you happy’.

“Career advisers at school tell you the general benefits that apply to everyone, but the Life Editor asks me if it is right for me. This helps me focus on whether it is right for me, not a good idea in general. It also brings me back to now, not how I might feel about it in the future.”

Bridie found it helpful that there was no one else involved in the process, even though it felt like there had been: “It feels like I’ve spoken to someone about it even though I haven’t. It would be useful if you had something you wanted to work through without discussing with anybody else.”

It also provided an independent reference point against which she could justify her position. “It would be useful if you needed to prove your decision to somebody else,” she said.

And the objectivity of it helped cut through the internal ebb and flow of her emotions. She did it again with the same question 3 months later and although she thought she felt more positive about going, the score came out only slightly different, at 37% this time.