Pros and cons

pros and cons

So what do you do when you have to make a decision and… you’re torn? So let’s start with the last bit: you’re torn. What does that mean? That means you’re divided. You can’t decide. You probably have two options; there are two different courses of action you can take regarding an issue, but it’s hard to decide. You can’t make up your mind. You are torn.

Let’s say you really want to go to college and you’ve spent this year studying very hard. So your next step is to apply for two different schools.  Both of them are great; one is in your hometown and the other is in a different city. So finally you get a letter from each school saying that you’re in! That’s right: both schools want you as a student. You’re beside yourself with joy; however… You’ve got to make a decision. Only, you feel like you can’t make a decision. You’re torn! You think both schools are amazing – in fact, you would like to attend both if you could.

Only you can’t. You’ve got to choose one. A few days go by and you’re still feeling torn. You think to yourself,  “I’m torn between School A and School B”. So you tell your friend Mark how you feel and ask for some advice. “Mark, what should I do? I’m so torn”. Mark says “Well, you should make a list of the pros and cons for each school”.  And you say “That is a great idea. I’m going to weigh the pros and cons of each school, and then I’m sure it’ll be easier to come to a decision.

Pros and cons. Pros and cons are the good and bad parts of a situation. Pros are obviously the good parts, and cons are… yep, the bad parts. So let’s say that is exactly what you do: you make a list of the pros and cons of both schools. School A’s pros are: it’s in your hometown (so you don’t have to move) and it’s cheaper than School B. Now the cons for School A are, it is in your hometown (yeah, you would actually like to live somewhere else) and it doesn’t have a strong sports tradition. You’re crazy about sports and you know that in School A you won’t have that many opportunities to practice your favorite sports. So there you have it: for School A, the pros are – in your hometown and cheaper. The cons are – in your hometown, and not too focused on sports.

What about School B? Here are the pros: you would move to a great city; and it’s got a strong sports presence. So you would get to live in a very nice town, and you would have many more opportunities to practice your favorite sports. And what are the cons? It would be more expensive to go to School B, because it would mean moving to a different town, and also – School B does not have a Music program, which is something you would like to do on the side. So, there you go: the pros for School B are, very nice town; focus on sports. Cons for School B are no Music program, and more expensive overall.

So now all you have to do is look at your lists of pros and cons and think about them. You will follow your friend’s advice, and weigh the pros and cons of this situation. Here’s an example from my own life: I recently moved to a different city and I had to weigh the pros and cons of that move. In my case, the good parts, or the pros, heavily outweighed the cons so it was an easy decision for me.

Have you ever made a decision based on an analysis of the pros and cons? Did you have to weigh the pros and cons to come to a decision? Tell us how you did it. What were the pros and cons? Talk to you next time.


  • I’m torn
  • (weigh) pros and cons


you can’t make up your mind = você não consegue se decidir

apply for a school = fazer sua ‘inscrição’ no processo de seleção da escola. Essa inscrição geralmente envolve responder várias perguntas, enviar resultados de testes, etc. Neste caso, “escola” quer dizer faculdade.

you’re beside yourself = você não se aguenta (de maneira positiva)

do (something) on the side = fazer (algo) paralelamente

heavily outweighed = tinham muito mais peso que

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