Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The College Decision Part IV

Today brings us to the final option I have listed in my original post - the option most likely to raise eyebrows and bring out statements like, "What a shame, I'd really like to see her do something with her life". I'd like to address that one for a moment.

I find it very disheartening that "the world" sees little value in a person unless they have a piece of paper behind them. Why can't a person without a degree make something of their lives? Are they somehow less of a person? I'd like to think not. I'd hate to think that my worth in life is all because I have a college degree.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for a good education. I'm all for learning how to stretch your wings and live on your own. But at what price? I have to wonder if you're really getting what you pay for. Obviously someone who needs the degree (like a doctor or nurse or engineer) has no other option. But isn't it worth looking into other options for people who don't need the degree? Would the student who could get a job in a field that interested them and work at it for four years not possibly come out ahead? It is an interesting thing to ponder. Of course there is no way to know for certain as there are many variables involved in this option. Still, I don't think it should be one that is discounted and frowned upon.

I know that there are other possibilities and options out there, but the ones I have listed are the main ones we are considering at this time. It has been helpful to me to put them all in one place to look back on and pray about. We have essentially turned it all over to God. Only He knows what is best for our daughter and somehow He will let us know which direction to choose. In the meantime, we'll do our part - investigating our options and praying about them - and hang on for the ride.


  1. +JMJ+

    Laura, I've been following this series for some time, but haven't left a comment because every time I wrote something, I tended to ramble to no purpose.

    I had, by some standards, an enviable tertiary education. I got to study in another country and had the luxury of majoring in something I loved (English Literature, with some Latin courses on the side) rather than something "practical" that wouldn't make people ask, "What are you going to do with that degree???" It was a great experience that I'd recommend to anyone, and yet . . .

    My first full-time job was teaching English to high school seniors, all of whom (as you can imagine!) were a little neurotic about college. A lot of them just wanted to go to a good college so that they could get a good job afterward (a motivation with a certain assumption about what makes a college "good") and suddenly education became all about grades and too little about learning.

    I found myself telling them, "You may need college to get the job of your dreams, but you don't really need it."

    Not that a teacher with my enviable university experience was very credible when she said something like that! I mean, I wouldn't have been able to land my teaching job without a degree, would I?

    Yet all the hoops I had to jump through for accreditation beyond my university degree have left me a little bitter about the modern world's view of these little pieces of paper. For that is often all they are. Many students don't go to college with the objective of learning things and expanding themselves, but with the objective of passing exams and winning over professors. That may get them a good job in four years, but it's not good training for reality beyond the equally institutionalised corporate world.

    Well, here I am rambling again! =P I'll stop now. =)

  2. Thank you so much for leaving this comment, it was very helpful and provides another good perspective. I'm glad you finally gave in :)
    God Bless.