Eight long years ago, I made a radical decision and chose not to attend college. Saying “no” to college is weird today, but I think it was even weirder back then.
So…what was my deal? Why was I being a weirdo?
Let me me start by giving a small disclaimer: I didn’t say “no” to college because it was too hard, too scary, too expensive, or too anything else I can think of. I also didn’t say “no” to college because I thought it was bad or wrong.
So why did I say “no” to college?
I chose to say “no” to college because it wasn’t the smartest plan for my future.
Thanks to my parents wisdom and counsel, I was able to rethink the normal college route and create a smart plan for my personal future. I took time, before and after graduation, to pray, think, pray and think some more.
During this time of praying and thinking, I realized that there wasn’t a specific college degree I really wanted to pursue. My desires and dreams for the future were not lining up with any available college degree.
I started to question the idea of spending 4 years of my life pursuing a degree that I wasn’t passionate about and had no plans to use in my future.
After more thought and prayer, I made the really weird decision not to attend college.
The months that followed that decision were filled with strangers willingly offering me their advice. I heard comments like,
“Wow! You are missing out on the college experience. Poor girl.”
“Don’t you realize you need a college degree to be successful?”
“How will you have an educated conversation if you don’t have a college degree?”
I’ll be honest with you…at times the negative comments and “shamed” looks did get to me. I didn’t always like being different.
I didn’t always like being the “weird” one.
Despite the negative comments and occasional looks of shame, I want you to know that eight years into my future (me today) I am so glad that I chose the route I did. I’m so glad I didn’t choose to pursue the college route just to look cool, normal, or smart.
I am grateful that my parents challenged me to think ahead and plan out the smartest future for my God-given dreams, goals and life plans.
Would I go back and change my decision? Absolutely not.
If anything, I’ve only become more convinced that there are other (sometimes even better) options besides the brick-and-mortar- 4-year-college route.
I’m sure you are wondering what I did post high school. Great thought.
Instead of spending 4 years in college, I spent my time preparing, learning and studying for exactly what I am doing right now. My dream has always been (and continues to be) to work in a ministry. My biggest desire was to one day write a book, run a blog, and speak to young women.
After high school, I continued my education by reading books, attending seminars, conferences, training programs and getting mentored by wise individuals.
I started preparing for the future by experimenting with blogging, writing and speaking. The hands on experience and constant practice has been (and continues to be) more valuable to me than a college degree.
That’s enough about my story though, Let’s get to your story!
What does your future look like? Have you taken the time to stop, think and pray about your future? Do you know what passions and desires God has given to you?
I want to challenge you to evaluate your own life and think through your future. Please don’t fall in line with the crowd and attend college just because it’s the next expected step. Stop and ask yourself smart questions. Think about where you want to go and figure out what would be the best route to get you there.
Here are a few ideas and thoughts on how you can rethink college and plan smart for your future:
1. College isn’t the bad guy.
Keep in mind that college isn’t the bad guy. You just need to be sure that it’s the wisest and best decision for you. Pray long and hard over what God wants you to do. What passions has He given to you? How can you best serve Him? Will college be the absolute best option for your life? What are the pros and what are the cons? etc.
2. Do you really want the debt?
The Bible says that, “the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). That is so true. Don’t believe the lie that you can borrow thousands of dollars and not feel the burden and weight of it. You will be tied down to that debt until it’s fully paid off. Think 5-10 years into your future. Where will you be? Do you want to be trapped in a job just because you need the money to pay off your debt? Think ahead and make sure you know what you are getting into.
3. Think unconventionally.
There are so many amazing ways to go about getting college degrees. There are options like: testing out of courses, online classes, and go-at-your-own-pace plans. College Plus is a great option for those of you hoping to do college debt free or from the comfort of your very own home.
4. Is college a must?
Ask yourself if college is a must for you. It wasn’t for me. I wanted to become a speaker and author and didn’t need a degree to do that. What is God calling you towards? Don’t jump into college unless you’re sure it’s God’s best for you personally.
Those are just a few of my ideas.
There is much more to say on this topic and so many more ideas on how to go about post high school options. I would love to hear your own personal ideas and plans for your future.
Why are you going down the road you are going? Have you taken the time to stop, think, pray and plan?
I’d love to chat about this with you more in the comments section below.
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