I could really use some advice from someone with experience with new players dealing with D&D spell analysis paralysis.
I'm about to kick off a second D&D 5e campaign for a set of friends interested in trying D&D for the first time. They've got nearly zero experience with the game, and we're hitting some hurdles I didn't expect.
One of these is that two of them are playing classes with spells, and they've ended up with total choice paralysis. Both of them are terrified of choosing the "wrong" spells and keep changing their minds on a practically minute-to-minute basis. (Seriously, the amount of texts I've gotten from each of them...)
The difficulty is that it's hard to explain what the spells do or how useful they'll be when your audience has no personal experience with the game. I frequently end up in a circular conversation with a player asking me "how often will I x" where my response is "well...it depends on where you guys take the story" which is basically useless advice.
TL:DR; I'd like to make choosing spells more newbie-friendly from the get-go, but I don't know how.
I'm particularly looking for out-of-game DM solutions, rather than in-game roleplay ones. For that reason I don't believe this question is a duplicate — its answers are focused on giving the players a chance to change their minds later in the game, or offering other during-play ways to trial spells. I'm looking for an up-front solution (if there is one).
In response to a comment asking why I'm not looking for "later" solutions; I've already told them if they really hate their spells we can discuss swapping them later. This has had zero impact on their paralysis. If anything, it's made it worse because now spells that they previously (reluctantly) dismissed as undesirable are now contenders again. We've already pushed our game back a week because they couldn't make up their minds and they're threatening to need another week for further thought after I mentioned swapping later.
We managed to hold our session on time, and everyone had a blast. I ended up using a combination of some of the top answers;
Based on Shem's answer: I sent both of them lists of their spell options broken down into very basic descriptions. I probably over-simplified some of them and used a lot of incorrect terminology to put them in contexts my players would understand (and left out a few I felt would be useless in our campaign in particular), but it helped them rule out spells they either thought were too complicated to cast, or weren't something their character would like to use.
Based on crunchykids answer: I also emphasized that every spell would have a use somehow if they were creative about it, and that as a DM I was on their side and would try to accommodate them. I took time to differentiate between in- and out-of-combat spells and explain why having a mix was useful. I also reminded them that I was okay with on the fly switching (one player took advantage of this after deciding Light would be functionally useless in a party where 2/3 have darkvision...)
A big thank you to everyone who replied to this question; my best advice to others finding this later is to really sit down and listen to your players; everyone's different and tailoring your responses can help them get past the paralysis faster.