Is College a Must?

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After much prayer, God made it clear that heading off to college was not what He had in store for me.

Is college a must? Does God call everyone to get a degree? These are questions I have wrestled with myself. I am twenty-three years old and decided not to attend college. It all started when the reality of college was a long way off for me, but I started thinking about what God wanted me to do with my future. I had a desire to be married one day, and I had a desire to serve in ministry.

Growing up I was an athlete and loved playing basketball. During my high school years I began receiving full scholarship offers to Division I universities. Some were Christian and some were secular. The pressure was on. Should I accept the full scholarship? Play basketball for four years in exchange for a free education? Or should I pursue something … else?

Everywhere I turned people asked me questions like, "What are you going to do with your life?" and "Where are you going to college?" I was a bit overwhelmed by it all. Thankfully, I sought out my parents’ advice. They explained to me that just because I was receiving scholarship offers, it wasn’t automatically God’s will for me to go. They prayed long and hard with me for many months about God’s will for my future. I didn’t want to go to college just because it was a free offer, a popular choice, or because I felt pressured to do so. I wanted to do what God wanted me to do.

After much prayer, God made it clear that heading off to college was not what He had in store for me. Nobody had a peace about it in my family. God opened many other doors of opportunity for me at the time.

Now I am twenty-three years old and can look back over the past few years of where I could have been and where I am today. I am so grateful that I sought out God’s will for my life and followed His lead and direction. Yes, college would have been a blast and playing basketball would have been really fun, but that was not God’s best for me.

Since high school, I have had the privilege of attending tons of wonderful Christian conferences on biblical womanhood, biblical counseling, marriage, family, children, and many other important topics. I had the opportunity to attend a two-month Christian finishing school. There I took crash courses on things like cooking, etiquette, relationships, history, grammar, cake decorating, Scripture memory, and prayer. I’ve launched a website and am currently in the process of finishing a book that I wrote with my sister. I have a strong relationship with my siblings and parents, and I love that I didn’t miss seeing my younger sisters grow up.  

My point isn’t to take a stand on whether college is good or bad, but to encourage you to ask, "Is college God’s will for my life?" Just because everyone does it doesn’t mean that it is a must for you. I encourage you to talk to your parents and see what their desires are for you in this area. Pray with an open heart, and ask God what His will is for your future.

College is a huge decision and will change the rest of your life. Don’t take it lightly. Pray for God’s direction. Pray and ask God: "Should I go to college? Should I stay home? Where should I go to college? What is Your will for my life?"

First Thessalonians 5:16-18 urges us to "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

With those words in mind, do you view college as a must or as something you should pray about?

By Bethany Baird

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