Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why College?

As the school year is ending, and Amy & Will's highschool education is ending ~ the questions are continuing.......where are they going to college?

So I am going to reverse the question ~ why go to college?
When did automatically assuming that everyone will "go to college" become the norm for whoever graduates high school?
Can you live a successful, full, challenging life without college?
What does college really offer you that life and work don't offer?

Now, there are a number of professions that would require a college degree and more education beyond that ~ a doctor, a math professor, an engineer, a nurse, etc.  But you don't need one for such things as history, english, science, cooking, lawn maintenance, etc.  Get out there and do the work ~ you will learn much faster than in a 2 or 4 year college & beyond.  You will learn by doing, not just hearing about or reading about the job.

Assuming that everyone needs to go to college or they are somehow inferior if they don't go is crazy.  Amy doesn't need calculus, humanities, or a foreign language to learn how to make a pie crust or a new icing recipe.  What she does is need is time to experiment in the kitchen, access to good cookbooks, room to flop with a recipe, willing taste testers, time to research for new flavors & combinations.  I am not saying that classes won't be in her future ~ but they will come at a time when its necessary and important to her, not just because she graduated.

Will is entering the working world.  He is going to be out, learning about a job, how to work hard, complete tasks, make a paycheck.  He has sat through 17 hours of training so far for his job.  Today he starts the actual, on the job training.  If he needs classes later on for a desired job or position, he may certainly get them then. 

Many young folks don't know what they want to do "when they grow up", so they float along through college barely getting by, and wasting thousands of dollars.  They major in many different things but education isn't one of them.  It would be much wiser for them to work, find out what the real world is like, decide what they really want to do and then pursue that. 

So NO, Amy & Will aren't going to college.  Right now, neither have any desire for that and we know from experience that if the desire doesn't come from deep inside them, it won't be successful.

Another question ~ how many people do you know that went to college and got a degree ~ actually have a job that uses that degree?  Did they really need it?  Was it necessary or a waste of 4 or more years of their life?  Could they do their same job now without that degree?

You can be quite successful without college.  There are many, many quite successful and even wealthy folks right in this country, who never attended or much less graduated from a college. 

So I am back to the original question ~

Why College?


  1. Our oldest chose the heath care industry. She is getting ready to start her last year. Our middle plans on being a history professor. Then our youngest has no real desire for college. He will be one that learns a trade and goes out and starts making a living. NO, college is not necessary. and many kids run off to college, rack up a huge debt, that the americans will end up eating, and drop their college inspirations within two years. It should be looked and and considered long and hard before "allowing" our kids to run off to college. Thanks Greg and Donna!

  2. Hi!

    First off, I read your blog now and then, and I enjoy reading about your adventures!

    However, as a 21-year-old college girl that was homeschooled, I find this post disturbing. Your overall tone is degrading toward a college education. Granted, college degrees aren't what they used to be. . .but I believe that college degrees are still valuable today, and definitely not a waste of 4 years.

    First of all, I am especially disturbed by this sentence--> "Amy doesn't need calculus, humanities, or a foreign language to learn how to make a pie crust or a new icing recipe." Perhaps she doesn't need calculus, but Amy could get her baker's certification or something like that. What if Amy never marries? Not all women marry, even if they so desire with all their heart to raise a family. Amy may never be a homemaker, even if that is what she desires! I desire to be a homemaker someday, but I'm nearly 22, and it hasn't happened yet (and there is no indication of it happening anytime soon, haha). I'm not saying that learning in the home doesn't have its benefits, but I'm saying that college degrees and certifications are a valuable investment. I believe that women today need to have the ability to provide for themselves.

    Next, "how many people do you know that went to college and got a degree ~ actually have a job that uses that degree?" Every person (except one) whom I know that has earned a college degree (old or young) uses that degree. Even if they have a job that is not directly applicable to their degree, the degree allows people to move up and beyond jobs that only require a high school diploma.

    "They major in many different things but education isn't one of them." Students get exactly what they put into their degree program. I've learned much in my business accounting degree program, and it will be useful to me whether I become an accountant, start my own business, or am a homemaker someday.

    "It would be much wiser for them to work, find out what the real world is like, decide what they really want to do and then pursue that." I couldn't agree more with this. However, why not work AND take a class? Start getting the basic classes out of the way early on. If they take one class at time and pay for it as they go, they will be happy they did so WHEN they decide that a college education is indeed a useful tool. I've worked throughout my college years thus far, and it has mainly shown me that people without degrees are unable to move up. I know a young man that was refused a promotion because he lacked a degree...even though he was completely qualified in every other way.

    I don't mean to sound disrespectful with my response to your post, Ms. Donna. It's just that in my experience with life so far (and I know I'm very young and still inexperienced), I've seen that people don't take others seriously if they don't have a degree. What if I have to fight for the rights to homeschool my future children some day? If I'm a CPA or a professional baker or an engineer or a certified mechanic, then people will take me more seriously. I think this is true, although sad.

    Anyway, this response is longer than I intended. I do respect your views, I just couldn't remain silent on this topic. I sincerely believe that your Will and Amy will be productive young adults, and that yes, if they don't want to pursue college then they shouldn't do so. I just think that a college education is a wise investment that will pay off. "Why college?" ...because it is a key that unlocks credibility and opens up a wider variety of doors when looking for jobs.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my response. :)



  3. Ya know when someone writes something and you wished you had? This is one of those times!

    I worked for years in a job of interior design that I could have gotten with a few months of training and a drawing board to practice on.

    Delia has taken five years of college to get the job she wants - one that only requires two.

    Most young girls do not need college - they need to recognize the purpose they were created for.

  4. Thanks Marie!
    Alison, instead of trying to answer in comments, I will do another blog post.

  5. Alison makes some very wise beyond her years comments. I agree that people take you more seriously (Gregg not having a degree and me having one we have experienced that in this world).

    We have pushed our girls toward at least an associates for some of the very reasons Allison mentioned. Not that I like the world this way - but it is what it is.

    Oh, Donna, if only the world valued our beliefs, how sweet that would be.


Welcome to the farm ~ we are a blended family with 7 children (3 are married), 4 grandsons, 5 dogs, 3 rabbits, and 15 chickens living on 3 acres in Georgia. I love crafting, sewing, cooking & canning, recipes of all kinds, reading, playing with my little buddies, family time, travel, pinterest and most of all the Lord.