I am inspired by this video by Philip Guo, especially the closing note (starting at 11:30).
“My closing note is that I think you should be excited about the place you’re going to start at. I think that’s the final gut check and gut feeling. I think if you thought about these things through and just trust your gut. Because this whole process is so long and so potentially draining that if you’re not super excited and super motivated when you start, then it’s just gonna be really hard. If you’re picking between places: (a) In one place, you’re like yeah I should quote-unquote go here, or I ought to go here because it checks all the right boxes, or like this sounds like it’s the right thing. It’s the more prestigious thing. It’s the thing that seems more checks off all the boxes on paper. But I still have a great feeling about it, I just kind of not excited, I’m kind of like yeah. (b) And different but this other place is like yeah maybe on paper or based on my own work or interest or whatever just rationally it’s not a great fit. I’m just so viscerally excited for some reason. Like something that draws me to do it. It’s magnetic. It’s something in my gut. I would just go with your gut. Because I think whatever place you’re actually more excited about, that energy’s gonna carry you through all the challenging times.”