Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is College a Requirement?


When I was graduating from high school, there was one question I heard over and over again. “Where are you going to go to college?” The thing was – I was so burnt out on school that I didn’t even want to think about college! So I told everyone I was taking a little time off. Lots of kids do that. They take a year off to work and earn some money and then they go. I wasn’t lying, mind you. My parents thought maybe after a little time off that I would change my mind.  But, I didn’t.

In all reality, I never had too much of a desire to go to college. At the time, I thought I wanted to write lyrics and go into the music industry. I knew what I wanted. So why waste time and money on college?

I believe in college. I think it’s important for certain career fields. It’s necessary. But I also believe that it’s okay NOT to go to college. I think you can still be successful in life if you don’t go. Of course, everyone’s view of success is different. For me, I guess I see it as living out what you feel God has called you to do. Something that brings you happiness and passion. For some that may be construction work because they love working with their hands. For others that may be working a job they don’t really love for a while until they marry and become a mom (their true passion and calling.) But whatever it is, I think it’s okay. In fact, I think it’s more than okay. It’s great.

I know quite a few people who waste money on college trying to “find” whatever it is they want to do or were meant to do. Some even graduate, then can’t find jobs in their field or become parents and never really use their degree.

Have we bought into a lie? We think college is just an extension of elementary and high school learning and that basically, if you want to be anything in life – it’s required. I say, if you want to be anything in life; follow your true calling. That true calling may or may not involve going to college!

I know a lot of people may not agree with me. After all, most parents want their children to do well in life. They want them to not have to struggle and to make good money in a good career. But that doesn’t bring happiness.  And sometimes we are missing out on a whole lot by having to struggle. Struggle brings inner rewards that no easy or high paying career can bring at times.

We all have a role and niche in life. For some – yes – it’s going to college and being a doctor, lawyer, or architect. I’m so thankful for the education and training these men and women have received! But for others of us, our role has nothing to do with college.

It’s time we start easing off of the pressure we put on our kids when graduation time comes round. Let them choose their own path and encourage them to ask God what their calling of vocation is. When they find out what it is, wherever it leads them; it truly will be the best option for their life.

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