a word on college

Just because I'm a senior in high school does not mean that I:
A) Enjoy talking about college
B) Plan on going to college
or C) Have no life except college

Until now, I always breached the topic of college by simply shrugging, "Oh, I don't know yet" and my interrogator would agree that I "still had time to think it over."

Now, I'm practically held at gun-point and asked, "so, what are you doing for college?"
No room for negotiations

Okay, I'm exaggerating.
But nothing sounds more pathetic than,
"um, actually, I'm not planning on going to college."

Before you jump to conclusions, everyone PLEASE NOTE that I am not staying home because:
1) I'm a girl
2) I believe college is evil
3) Because I'm stupid
4) I don't believe in higher education
5) I don't have a life
6) Because I have a "guy" (although, I admit, such a factor would make college miserable. FYI, I will punch you if you bring this up. Mortifying.)
7) I'm lazy
8) I'm homeschooled 

The simple fact of the matter is.
I don't want to.
End of story, period. exclamation point!

Why is it such a sin to save my money, stay at home and watch my siblings grow up, be content with what I do know, or use the talents I already have to find a job?
People bemoan my obviously stupid decision to forgo college because "I'd do so well" or "I'm so talented" or "I'd regret it." Maybe I would become some great concert pianist, or plunge into real graphic design, or save lives in the medical field. I could.

That's not my goal here.
I just want to live. Normally.
Be faithful in what God has already given me, where I am now.
Not be tied down to four years of schooling, debt, and countless sleepless nights. (I'm not a people person. I know I would be bawling for home by the second week)
I'm not lazy or unimaginative. It's not like life suddenly stops after high school.
I'm not worried about having nothing to do or no goals. In fact, I'm practically bursting for readiness to have the opportunity to do the things I can't do right now because I'm reading about WWII and writing letters to the editor.

Let me make my own life decisions, please.
And frankly, as long as God & my parents agree with me - it must be right. :)
So, in the nicest way possible, I really don't care what you think.
Sorry, if I am beneath the expectations of the perfect educated girl.
In the meantime, I'm just going to worry about finishing school and keeping my sanity in tact.


  1. Way to go, Bethany! You're right, if God and your parents agree with you, then that's what you should do. Don't let anyone pressure you to do something just because it's "normal". :)

  2. I like this post... it's nice to know someone feels the same way I feel (besides family, of course). There is someone who I know that asks almost every time I see them, "so, how are your college plans going?"

  3. College is a topic upon the mouths of almost every High School student I know. And sometimes it bothers me. Why is it that we have the thoughts of our futures constantly on our minds and in our plans? I want to drink lemonade, write on my blog, take pictures and be with my friends while I have them. It seems to me that college is going to take all of that away, and I don't know how long I will be able to entertain that idea. I really don't want to have to do that. But I have already been given the whole "What Happens If You DO Not Go To College" lecture. College isn't for everyone's family, but it is for mine.

  4. As long as you keep up your piano practice, I won't hound you about going to Hillsdale for a music major. ;) I'm ALWAYS in favor of higher education....but higher education in the things you love. And I'm ALWAYS in favor of doing stuff with your life. Which you're already doing. In other words, I'm not worried about you becoming boring, so I support your decision not to go to college. ;)

    Also, if you did go to college, you'd be too busy to blog or Skype me. HOW WOULD I NAVIGATE PINTEREST PROJECTS WITHOUT YOU? Life would just be awful.

  5. I was very relieved when I first heard this. I was always worried you would go somewhere far away for a long time. That I would lose you either forever or for...ever. For a long time. I'm glad you're sticking around!

  6. This has been "me" lately! I really don't have a desire to go to college, and still have not found a non-awkward way of explaining that to a person. Someone asks me what my plans are for college, and I reply with that same, hesitant, dumb, don't-know-how-to-say-this answer of "I'm not planning on going to college". I've said that phrase with a negative feedback thrown at me more times than I want to think of. I then get pinned with the "facts" about how EVERYONE wants a college degree, and how nowadays mothers get great jobs to help their family out financially. Well, my highest dream is to get married, raise a family, homeschool my children, and to be the wife and mother God would want me to be; and from my viewpoint, college really does not fit in that category. I mean, you can go to college and then get married, but I don't want to wait that many years to begin the dream I have, just so that I can do something that I really don't care to do. I tell people this when they give me that "you don't know what you're talking about" look. College is fine for whoever wants it, but like you said, some people just don't want it; why does it have to be so expected? And what really bugs me, is when people look down on the idea of a stay at home mom... it's just as much of a dream as if you wanted to be "rocket scientist"! Besides, isn't that the highest calling for a woman?
    Basically, what I'm trying to say, Bethany, is that you've just spelled out what I've been trying to think through for quite a while, particularly these last few weeks (apparently my driving instructor does NOT agree with my dreams...) You're such a wonderful encouragement to me! I can almost think of you as an older sister :) Thank you ~ Hannah Piotraschke

  7. Yes. :) I could write a book about why college is not for everyone...and probably not for most. I'm not going to win any popularity contests saying this. However—Bethany, as you already have alluded to, being "educated" does not--SHOULD not--stop after high school. God has given us beautiful, marvelous, complex brains, capable of incredible things. Is college the only place where we can tap into that learning? Absolutely not!! The problem is, very few children (and adults!) in our culture know how to learn anymore. They have not been taught to truly love to learn, to be creative, think outside the box, or make observations and conclusions on their own. We are becoming like robots, taught WHAT to think, and when, not HOW. We are dumbed down by curriculum—Common Core, anyone?—electronics abuse, too much media, excessive peer dependence….etc. etc. We can spit out facts, but what good is that to us in the long run?

    I am a product of conveyor belt education. I was at the top of my class, jumped through all the hoops, and entered college because of pressure. EVERYONE said I had to; it would be a waste of my brain not to go. So I did--for one semester, until God enlightened me as to my own true mission in life. At that time, I thought it was simply to be a wife and mother, and I was happy with that. But I have discovered over 22 years, while that is still my mission, it is way more complex than I would ever have imagined. It will look a bit different for every Godly woman depending on the strengths and talents God bestows. God gave us the ability to learn and grow over the course of a lifetime, and there has never been a better time to tap into all the possibilities our modern day has to offer. Sure, there will always be the traps and evil that go along with a culture that is too focused on their advancements, but using the wisdom of the Lord, we can use it to His glory. In my experience, I retained very little from my formal schooling (except maybe some basic math and English skills!) but have learned a tremendous amount of knowledge in many areas all on my own after high school, simply by being motivated to want to learn.

    I read everything. There is a whole WORLD of knowledge in classic literature and books. Many, many of our statesmen of old were home educated, and largely self-motivated, gleaning what they learned by reading and studying real books…and knowing how to apply it to their own lives. You don’t need a professor for that. There are so many, many ways to do that right from home, (or nearby) whether it be for a career for a single person or husband, or for your own, or your family’s enrichment, (after all, it’s most often the mothers that will train and inspire those statesmen and leaders, so she must be educated as well, even if she never leaves the home to earn money) And most of all, to use it all to serve the Lord in some capacity. My motto is, “NEVER stop learning.” What a waste of our wonderful minds it would be to do otherwise. God gave them to us; He wants us to allow Him to guide us in wisdom and knowledge throughout our whole lives, and to glorify Him in it.

    So, Bethany, I guess this is my long-winded way of saying that I agree with you. But I think you knew that already. :)

    [BTW, you have the advantage over me already…there are so many worthy things I never learned in my youth, that you could run circles around me… I.e., I don’t play piano, and sewing is a painful endeavor; but--if you should ever want to know how to cure say, Leprosy or Ebola, I may be of some assistance.] ;) :-D

    Love ya!

  8. YES. i relate so much with this...people assume those things about me all the time because i'm not going to college either. I simply don't want to. I've never wanted to. It's really encouraging to see i'm not the only one that feels this way.
    God definitely has a plan for you girl, you are super special.


  9. Good for you, Bethany. You've got a great head on your shoulders. You know your own mind and have a heart for God. Anyone who thinks you're foolish for not going to college simply doesn't know you well enough to know that you know...you know? ; )

    And for completely selfish reasons, I'm SO GLAD you're sticking around!

    If giving piano lessons fits into your future plans, then sign me up! And yes, I mean ME--not one of my kiddos. Well, unless they want to, too. But me first...for once. ; )

  10. THIS. Is exactly how I feel. I especially agree with "And frankly, as long as God & my parents agree with me - it must be right. :)" I've thought the same thing. :)

  11. Oh my....this is hysterical and YES. Thank you for this post, it's fantastic.
    I had to laugh because I actually just posted something really similar a few days ago. Here's the link, in case you were curious. (Don't feel like you have to read it, though. :))


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Maira Gall