THE BLOG

This Is 'The Choice'

01/09/2013 08:45 am ET | Updated Mar 11, 2013

If you have never watched NBC's popular answer to FOX's "American Idol," also known as "The Voice," then I will give you the condensed version of how it works. A contestant auditions blindly for judges Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton (although Aguilera and Green are taking a break for season four and will temporarily be replaced by Shakira and Usher). By blindly, I mean that the chairs of the judges are turned around so that if they choose to turn around in order to extend an invitation on their team to the contestant, they do so because the contestant's voice is the primary considered factor instead of their look (see: Susan Boyle). While the four judges are each successful and talented in their own rights, they are all extremely different. Levine is known best for his pop-rock work with Maroon 5, Green for his R&B and soul, Aguilera is one of America's most well-known pop icons, and Shelton is a legend in the country music scene. It is rare for a contestant to get all four judges to turn around and extend an invitation for their team, but it occasionally happens. More often than not, two turn around which often results in a light-hearted spat between the two judges as they each try to vie for the contestant.

I have often wondered what must go through a contestant's head when all four of those chairs turn around. I mean, who do you go with and why? For instance, Adam Levine is known for rock, but Blake Shelton has put out more winners than any other judge and has gotten rock singers like Terry McDermott far in the competition even when they weren't country singers. Do you go with Cee Lo Green because he turned around first or Christina Aguilera because she knows how to get up in the high ranges? Do you go with the judge that was your favorite artist since you were a kid or the one with the most Grammy nominations in order to get priceless mentoring time?

As a senior in high school, I applied to four colleges this year and so far have gotten into three -- the fourth is still going over my application -- and now it's getting close to the time for me to decide which one to go with. I can't help but feel that this is what it feels like to be on "The Voice" and have to make the decision about which judge to go with. I want to go into journalism or public relations, and so the four schools that I applied to had to be strong in those areas. I'm still a bit amazed that I actually got my list down to four schools, considering that by the end of junior year -- where I'd spent far too much time researching schools -- I had a list of about 16 schools. I'm very grateful that at this time, three of my schools have accepted me, but at the same time I now feel more stressed out than ever about making the right choice.

So who do I go with? Do I go with the school that has produced the most "winners?" Or do I go with the school that I have dreamed of going to since I was a kid? Do I want an urban campus or a suburban one? Do I sacrifice one school's possibly better program for another school's better location and internship/job opportunities or do I go with the one that has the best placement(s) after college and best alumni network? The truth is, at this point I'm not quite sure. I would be honored to go to any of these schools, but at the same time, I want to be sure that I make the right decision for me and what I want to do with my life.

2013 has started out on a great note for me with all of these new options for the next four years of my life, and in the following month I'm going to have to do some serious research and decision-making before I make the choice that decides where I'll be studying at for the next four years. However, I think I'll be able to sort it all out and make the best decision in the end. After all, the contestants on "The Voice" that made it to the top five this year all seemed to do pretty well even when they picked different judges. I'm sure that no matter where I end up I'll do pretty well, too.