Saturday, January 31, 2015

Why I Don't Go to College

 
  At the beginning of this month I asked my readers to comment with their thoughts about attending college and also promised to share my own. You readers provided me with intriguing feedback - now it's time for me to carry through on my end! I would like to tell you why I have so far chosen not to go to college. My reasons include lack of interest, lack of need, and personal life goals and convictions. In explaining these to you, my intention is not to bash those who do  go to college or to suggest that no one should go. Instead, I hope to show you that my choice to not attend an institute of higher learning was a good choice for me, as well as for others who made the same decision.


  First of all, I have no desire or calling to go to college. When I graduated high school at age sixteen, I didn't want to go. Nearly four years later, I still don't want to. Though I wish there were more eloquent words to say than "I don't want to go", it's the truth. The Lord has not nudged me towards attending college and my own heart does not yearn for it. In modern times, society puts a lot of emphasis on "following our hearts". While I don't believe in governing my life solely according to my feelings, let's say for the sake of argument that I, with good intentions, simply follow my heart. I still wouldn't be in college.
 
  The second reason that I don't attend college might come as a shock to you - I don't need to go! Yes, I recognize that having a degree is good and necessary for many professions and that society places an amount of value on degrees. I also realize that many people go to college for the experience. Despite these facts, I have not found a personal need to go. Ambitions that I might pursue it for would be to have a certain career, get a job that would make me wealthy (though this isn't working for many people), or simply to take part in the college experience. None of these reasons appeal to me. I'm neither a career driven person nor someone who is worried about making enough money to live the ever-illusive American dream. As far as the "experience" argument goes, there are plenty of life experiences to be had outside of college. In addition to that, while I'm sure there are positive experiences to be had in college, there are also guaranteed negative ones that I'd prefer to avoid.
 
  My third reason for not pursuing school is really just an extension of the previous one. This reason is that what I truly desire and work towards in my life doesn't require that I attend a university. I sincerely hope to get married. Being a wife and mother doesn't require a Master's, a Bachelor's, or "college experience". Instead, I prepare by earning money as a babysitter and housekeeper, helping my mother maintain our household, and teaching children at my church. Above my desire to get married is the overarching ambition of my life. This is to love and serve my Lord and to love others as He would have me to, regardless of my marital or educational status. Though success in the world's eyes may include college education, success in God's eyes is living a life of faithfulness to Him wherever life takes us. Though He should be a part of each of our decisions, keep in mind that He is less concerned about whether or not a person attends college and more concerned about their faithfulness to His word.

  As you know, I am not the only person who has had the chance to attend college and decided not to go. There are many people in my own life who have either not pursued or not completed a college degree. Rather than being lazy and useless, they are living meaningful lives. None of them have high-profile careers or millions of dollars but they are by no means impoverished because of their lack of schooling. They are hard workers, faithful parents, wise leaders, and godly men and women. Their lives are not a failure, and they haven't thrown away the greatest opportunity that they could possibly have. Instead, they have lived as the individuals God made them to be and striven to serve Him, whatever their circumstances. Though going to college may have been the right decision for others, it wasn't for them, and that's okay.
 
  Now you know the basic reasons that I have for not choosing to attend college. It has not been necessary to fulfill my individual desires, needs, or life of service to God. This doesn't mean that I think it shouldn't be part of your journey. In the end, it's up to each of  us to make the choice whether or not to go. I encourage you to make your choice wisely, not simply following the other fish in the stream. Whatever you do, know that the Lord has given you a story to live out that is unlike any other person's, and go live it for Him.


To see the original post in which readers shared their views click HERE


Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

22 comments:

  1. Very very interesting read Paige! :-)
    We all loved it
    ~Evie's mum

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    1. Well done dear! You raised some great points!
      ~Evie

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    2. Thank you so much Evie's mum and Evie! :)

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  2. Dear Paige - thank you for sharing this wonderful post! I appreciated it so much because I hold the exact same views as you and don't desire a college education... Most of my friends are now studying and often the question gets asked of me - ''soooo...what are YOU doing now?''. The Father has graciously allowed me to run my own small business which keeps me really busy:). Plus, I love living in my family and like you, helping my mom... Again - thank you, Paige! I needed this encouragement today! Hugs to you dear! Xx

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  3. Aw, you are so welcome Kelly-Anne! :) It's always good to know that there are other like-minded gals out there. I'm so glad to be an encouragement to you! Thanks for the sweet comment.

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  4. Good article/post! You know I approve already ;)

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  5. Couldn't have said it better! My reasons (as I shared in your previous post) are almost identical.
    Natasha
    www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Natasha! I'm glad you can relate, :)

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  6. I really enjoyed this! I've been a bit torn on the issue of college as my graduation slowly creeps towards me. I've never wanted to go to college, but I've felt so much pressure to go anyways. What I really love is that you aren't just sitting around, doing nothing like some people assume when they hear of people who chose not to go to college. You are a dedicated daughter, worker, teacher, and above all else, child of God! Keep up the good work! You are such an encouragement :)

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    1. Thank you for the sweet, kind words Laura! :) I'm glad to be an encouragement to you.
      I hope that the Lord gives you wisdom about what's best for you regarding this big decision!

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  7. When I was 6 years old I remember saying "I'm never going to college!" They really pushed college in public school though, and I ended up going to a community college and got an associates degree in Liberal studies (aka pretty much 2 more years of high school)

    After that I wanted to transfer to a 4 year school and get a theater degree. I have to say I was disappointed by the two Christian colleges I went to. (I spent two weeks at the first one and a semester at another the following year.) I don't plan on going back to school anymore. It does seem to be making finding a job more difficult but I really do not feel called or convicted to continue my education any further at this point.

    I think schools should share more about learning trades rather than going to college. It wasn't until I was getting my wedding dress fitted that I found out I could apprentice as a seamstress and at that point I couldn't start to work with the woman who offered me the position because I was going to be moving.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Jill! :) Hopefully what you learned will come in handy someday.
      Yes, that would be really neat! Apprenticeship and the like is something that we've lost in many trades.

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  8. It sounds like you made an educated decision, Paige, and I pray the Lord continues to bless and prosper you in life! :)

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    1. Thank you Bethany! Same to you. :)

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  9. Paige,
    I loved hearing your thoughts. I was an early graduate with a phenomenal transcript, good ACT score, and a lot to offer, but I realized quickly that I was not meant to go to college. For a while I didn't know what to do. I didn't (and don't) want to sit around, waiting for "Mr. Right" and end up doing laundry the rest of my life. So I investigated and prayed and read my Bible, a lot. I found the answer in there. While I do desire one day to get married, I have a strong desire to increase my knowledge and use my talents.
    As of now, I'm furthering my education through actual work experience and non-college classes on tailoring and sewing. I already know far more than my mother ever did (and she says ever will). At the same time though, I have to be on guard! I have to be careful not to brush away dreams of marriage or desires to have children. Most girls have to guard their hearts from continually dreaming about marriage, I have to guard myself against disregarding it.
    Maybe it's just me rambling, but it always helps me to see that I'm not the only one struggling. :)
    Andra K.
    www.andrasfinds.blogspot.com

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    1. Andra, I don't mind your rambling at all. It's always interesting to hear what others are doing with their lives. :)
      It sounds like you're doing well, learning a lot and being productive!
      Honestly, although I figured that I would get married, it only really became the desire of my heart to be married within the past 1-2 years. :)

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  10. Thank you for this!! These are my reasons for not going to college exactly. I'm not finished high school yet, but people do ask frequently what I'm going to do after high school. People don't understand that I don't need college! But, it doesn't matter what others think, it's what God thinks :)

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    1. You're welcome! Thank *you* for the sweet comment! :) It makes me happy to know that I encouraged you.

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  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! I have only just found your blog and I can't wait to read more. I come from a family with different views than my own. They are going to make me go to college, but I want to be a wife and a mother, not a business woman. Do you have any advice on telling them this without arguing? In the end, I know I need to honor their decisions (no matter how hard that may be).
    God bless you!!
    Claire
    http://www.strongdaughters.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm glad you were encouraged by this post Claire! Sorry to hear about your family situation though. :( Can I get back to you on this one soon? It's definitely a serious matter. :) Hope to "see" you again!

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