Why I’m Not in College

The gasps. The surprised and tortured facial expressions. The desperate pleas for reconsideration.

You would have thought I’d just said I was going to attempt to slay a dragon single-handedly but no. I simply uttered the words “I’ve decided not to go to college right now”.

After the initial shock lessens when I’ve told of the “terrible atrocity”, that I’m not college bound, I’ve received many well meaning sentiments. The comments go something like this “you really need to just give it a try, you wont regret it” (assuming college could never be the wrong choice for a person) or “well, it’s always ok to take a year off” (trying to justify in their minds that I’m probably just taking a little break) and many other remarks encouraging me that I really should go.

To be fair I haven’t had this reaction for some time now. I mainly got these responses the year I graduated from high school and I guess by now they’ve all given up on me. I’m a hopeless case I suppose.

But I do still get a strange look from time to time. A great deal of people just can’t seem to understand why I wouldn’t choose to go to college and I suppose that’s understandable considering the culture we live in. For years it’s been pounded into our heads that college is the only way to “make something of yourself”, the only way to further your learning and if you don’t go to college you can’t truly be successful. I realize that most of the comments encouraging me to go to college are done out of genuine concern for my well being. These well meaning people want me to be successful in life and college is the only way they‘ve been told you can achieve that.

So why did I decide not to go to college? Am I against it? Was I unable to get accepted? Do I not have the money to go? Don’t I want to be successful?

In short, no. I’m not against college. I think it can be a very good choice for a lot of people but I don’t believe it’s a good choice for everyone. Nothing is a good choice if it is outside of God’s will for your life.

Am I unable to get accepted into a college or can I not afford it? Again, this is not the case. I firmly believe God will equip and provide for me to do anything in His will.

Don’t I want to live a successful life? Of course I do but what’s your definition of successful? Does successful mean getting a degree to put on my wall and making a lot of money? Or does successful mean living the life God has called me to live regardless of how much money I make or what type of occupation He gives me?

A truly successful life equals being completely submitted to His will, following the path He has for you, regardless of what the norm is and one day hearing God say “well done thou good and faithful servant”.

So then why am I not going to college? Because I don’t believe this is God’s will for my life, at least not right now. He has not given me a desire to pursue college at this time. To do anything, even “good” things, if they are outside of what God has called for us to do is extremely dangerous.

Ok, so ultimately being successful is to hear “well done” but what about right now? Don’t you want to plan ahead for the future? Wouldn’t God want you to keep on learning and growing? Absolutely! Planning for the future is very wise and you should never stop learning and growing however, contrary to popular belief college is not the only way (and not necessarily the best way) to do this.

I think hands on and one-on-one practical training are great options that are often overlooked. There are so many things you can learn by simply researching, seeking mentors and applying yourself. I have found this to be very true and by God’s grace I have excelled in becoming an entrepreneur in many different venues.

At this time I feel that God is calling me to pursue the skills I will need to become a good helpmeet to my future husband and a loving mother to my future children. Not going to college has given me more opportunity to hone my homemaking skills and learn practical occupations that I will be able to use later on in life when I have a family.

College is a great option for some people but I don’t think God calls everyone to go and I don’t believe that is an inferior calling if He does not lead a person to further their learning in this way.

Our God is a creative God who loves diversity and He has a unique plan for your life. Whatever His plan is for you, don’t be afraid to go against the grain even if the Lord is leading you to do something that is unpopular or different from the majority. Following His will for your life is the only way to gain true success and happiness.

I’ve told you why I’m not in college.  Has the Lord ever lead you to go against the grain and do something unpopular? Please leave a comment and tell us all about it. We would love to hear how He helped/is helping you through it so we can be encouraged too!


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  1. Good for you. College is a great thing, but it’s not the only thing, and it’s not for everyone. But you already knew that!

    I’m fascinated by the trends in higher education. Peter Thiel is giving out grants to promising students who agree to NOT go to college, and prominent writers are saying after the real estate bubble burst, now what we have is an education bubble (overvalued by the public and underperforming in real life).

    And I think your response to those who question your decision is gracious, and classy.

  2. Ashley~

    Loved this post! My thoughts exactly! Believe me, I know how it is to be asked those many questions by well-meaning friends and family. As time has gone by since my highschool graduation, I also haven’t heard as much about it. I’m another hopeless case! :)

    Like you, I’m not against college and would never think that I’m better than my friends who are going to college, just like I hope they would never see my goals as inferior to theirs. I truly do feel though that God has called me to use this post-highschool time to prepare for my role as a wife and mother someday. And what better place to do it than in my own home?

    I’m also not against higher education in the least! I think there are creative ways to get the education you want without having to go to college. I take Bible classes for free at my church by simply sitting in… and these are classes that men and their wives that wish to go into ministry (or are already ordained ministers and their wives) are taking. It has been an incredible experience. I’m able to be with older people who can help me so much… older women who have been pastor’s wives for years and can encourage me and give me advice (which is amazing since the young man I’m courting is training to go into the ministry).

    God is so good! His role for women is so important and I want to embrace it. I know that college has been a great thing for some people, but I do know that God has called me to something different… something odd and “against the grain”.

    Keep writing, Ashley! I always love your posts!

    God bless!

    • Rachel,
      What an awesome way to learn by taking Bible classes through your church. I’m sure a lot of the older people have a ton of great insights that will be very helpful to you in the future.

      Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  3. Michelle Bonneau says:

    I am a long time fan of your blog! I read it often and alot of articles are being printed out so that my daughter who is the ripe old age of four can benefit from some of your wisdom.

    That being said college is not for everyone and being a homemaker myself I am hoping for such a joy not just for my daughter but my future daughter in law as well. I love that you stressed as well practical occupations. I feel it is so important while not in college to continue our education as women in so many ways. In case of emergency and our husband needs our help in more then just baking so we are able to assist him and not just allowing them to bear brunt and burden. I speak from personal experience when my daughter was just two and our son only 5 months my husband was horribly injured and had to spend almost six weeks in hospital and care. Had I not devoted myself to learning more then just the average household duties I would have been lost but God had prepared me I had felt earlier a need to study basic finance savings ideas home industry and other things that managed to see us through. Our marriage is still young but the lessons God gave me before I even met my husband prepared me! Thank you so much for sharing this and please continue to inspire a generation of women to do what so many have been taught is against our nature.

  4. This post is definitely encouraging for me! More often than not, it is actually myself who beats me up about the things that I’m not doing that everyone else my age is doing, such as going to college. I have considered college several times, but as I have absolutely no idea what I would do in college, I have felt little motivation to pursue that course.

    Instead, right now I am living at home, helping with my little brother’s schooling, and helping around the house. I truly believe that it is a time that God has blessed me with to be learning more maturity, skills, and to work on my family relationships. If I were off at college, this would be difficult to do!

    So thank you for your lovely post!

  5. Good for you! You are following His path, He has a plan for you. I did not go to college either and still receive comments about this. Though I did not marry until I was thirty-three, I volunteered, I worked and always knew that college wasn’t for me either. I consider myself intelligent, thoughtful, Godly and helpful and to me, that’s all that matters.

  6. What is important is that you did what was/is right for you. I agree there is nothing wrong with college, but it may not be for everyone. I went to college away from home for one semester and honestly I loved it. There were other things that made me see it was not the right decision for me so I came back home. I got some similar responses out of people along with “you need to have faith” to “you are wrong for leaving Bible college, you need to give the first year to God”. As if somehow by not going to Bible college meant I no longer loved God. How crazy is that. I would have to say this was one of the best decisions I ever made, a few months after returning home I met my now husband. ;-) Had I not returned home when I did we may not have met.

    Thank you for writing such an encouraging post. I am sure other young ladies will find your honesty so helpful.

  7. Good for you!
    I am the mother of a beautiful 8y/o girl and I have been so confused about which way to encourage her to go. I have already gone against the grain by quitting my nursing career and staying home to homeschool and run a daycare- most people think I’m crazy because of that. But when I mention the idea of stay-at-home daughters the disgust and bewilderment isn’t even disguised. With only a few words they can make me doubt myself- am I being selfish with her? Will I ruin her life? Will I disable her and make her dependent on a man? (which in our society is akin to a mortal wound)
    Thank you for being a glowing example- it does my heart good to see someone living out this calling with grace and dignity, someone who is intelligent and well spoken- who could do anything she wanted to, but has decided to do what God wants instead.
    My daughter will do well as well- as long as she keeps God’s will first.

    • I’m so glad this post could be an encouragement to you. I can’t tell you how encouraging your comment was to me.

      You are right. If you and your daughter keep seeking the Lord He will direct you on just the right path!

  8. What a great post! I myself did not go to college right away. I always knew I wanted to be a wife and mother so I did not think that college would be part of my plan. I did end up going back for a 2yr degree later. And I was signed up for classes to go for my BA but then I met my husband and we decided to get married and a four year degree lost its place in the “plan”.
    Thanks for sharing your message about God’s plan!

  9. Ashley, I have to admit that I was one of those surprised when you told me you weren’t going to college, but when you explained why, I understood completely. You can certainly have a fulfilling life without college and I am confident that you will. You are a very amazing and lovely young lady, and I hope all of your dreams come true. :)

  10. I went against the grain when I only went to college for two years then decided to marry my husband. Went against the grain when we decided not to use contraceptives, then again when we decided to homeschool. It seems we’re always going against the grain, even in the homeschooling community. There are two books that are inspirational, that show how God sometimes takes us on the scenic route to His purpose for us: Carry On Mr. Bowditch and Gladys Aylward. You have voiced exactly what my husband and I believe. Continue to keep him first. It’s wonderful to see someone young being determined to follow God’s road map rather than the road most traveled. May God continue to bless you with His wisdom.

  11. The most important thing is what you believe God is revealing to you is His will for your life. That is ALL that really matters. I wish you well in whatever path He directs you.

  12. Wonderful post! I started out going to college to become an elementary school teacher, then spent some time learning early childhood education. Then I met my hubby and we became engaged. I had always wanted to be a homemaker, an my husband was very supportive of that, and instead of going into college debt, I decided I would devote myself to being a full time wife/homemaker.

    We also decided we wanted children right away, the lord blessed us with a daughter and then a son in our first 3 years of marriage. I had learned quite a bit of wonderful things in the short time I went to college about raising children. I have also taught children’s Sunday school for 15 years, and have used many of the skills I learned for teaching the kids at church.

    I used to feel bad that I didn’t finish my education (as if one really can) , but know now that God gave me just the right education for what he needed me to do in my life thus far. I love being a homemaker, wife and mother. My children are in their teens now, and I love sharing ideas like this with my children.

    I will be sharing this post with my daughter :)

  13. I completely agree with you. After I graduated highschool many of my friends were going off to college, but just as many were choosing to stay at home and further their education there. It all depends on where God calls you. I would have been perfectly happy to stay at home, but I felt God calling me to Liberty University. I can truly say that I have grown more spiritually as a result of following His will and I’m glad I did!

  14. So good to hear of your commitment to walk in the way you think the Lord would have you to even when it’s not what most people might have you to do! I think much of the world has really bought into the mentality that college degree = making something of yourself through income-producing opportunities. The funny thing is, several people in my life seemed very relieved when I made the decision to attend college (after not being so sure it was a good choice for me, for reasons like yours)…but I’m really no closer to being “successful” in the eyes of the world after graduating – I got a women’s ministries degree! Not really a money-maker there. :) And I probably could have learned all the same things by reading good books, studying my Bible on my own, and listening to lots of teaching at my church and online. It’s just funny how one girl, like me, can choose to spend her pre-marriage years preparing for the future through getting a degree like mine, and people are happy….. and another girl, like you, can prepare in other ways and it can seem less socially acceptable…and then we’re both ultimately kind of in the same place! In fact, I see definite perks to going your route over mine that I’ll remember if and when I have daughters – save a ton of money, stay with your family and regular church, have more flexibility to focus in on the specific things you really want to rather than letting your life be dictated largely by a curriculum…. :) I am happy about the way God has directed my steps, and He used my path in lots of beneficial ways for me, but I absolutely intend to be 100% supportive if my children don’t go the college route, especially in the case of girls who want to be wives, mothers, and homemakers – that is a wonderful aspiration! Keep making the most of this incredible time in your life!

    • Thanks, Olivia for your sweet comment. I liked how you said “we’re both ultimately kind of in the same place”. God is so amazing how He has such different, yet amazing, plans for each of us. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you! You are such a wonderful example and encouragement to me.

  15. I truly admire your position. Not going to college was never an option for me, it was assumed from the time I started school that I would go to college. Being in college taught me many important things, one of which is “not everyone should go to college!” I admire your ability to sense very clearly God’s calling on your life, and to follow it in what may feel like a “socially unacceptable” path. Blessings on you for doing so.

    I have followed God down many unconventional paths. I hold a degree in music performance, as a flautist, in spite of the very rational arguments against my ability to ever get a job. While I don’t have the dream job my 20-year-old self wanted, I could not do my job today without that degree.

    After I finished a graduate degree in the little recognized field of arts administration, I gave up the opportunity for a lucrative career in a big city to work with a small ministry in a small town, making about a third of my true earning potential.

    Choosing to follow God into situations others don’t understand or support is never an easy choice, and its rarely palatable. However, I cannot imagine my life any other way. May you be blessed and encouraged by the direction our Father takes you!

  16. I am a Registered Nurse. I’m very glad that I went to college, but it’s not for everyone. My daughter, who’s 8, has said since Kindergarten that she wants to be an Elementary school teacher. My son, who is 6, wants to be a Soldier, like my husband. It was never a question that I would go to college, it was an assumption. I’m glad for perspectives like yours, which open a wider range of possibilities.

  17. I teach at a Bible College and I can always pick out the students that aren’t really called to be there, and are just there because it’s what they’re suppossed to do. It drives me BATTY that there is such an emphasis on going to college in schools and yet so little emphasis on how to actually live your life once your out of it.

    In a lot of ways not going to college is a much better plan for many, and honestly more productive. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I know still didn’t have a plan for their life after they were handed that diploma. They were expecting to land a 50,000 a year job as soon as they graduated when in fact their counterparts who had skiped college and pursued a career were making more money.

    As far as being called to be a stay at home mom? Well I teach 2 days a week for two hours, that’s it, so I’m mostly a SAHM. My college education enables me to bring extra income into my family but…….. not everyone will need to be in a position to provide extra income to their family and not everyone will need a college education to do so. Praise God he already knows : ) I think trusting him rather than other peoples ideas for your life is the best decision you could possibly make.

  18. cAs a mom of 5 sons, I want all my sons to be equipped for life (OED definition of education and parent’s responsibility). However, as a college composition teacher, I realize that if more young men and women would work for a couple of years, go on mission trips to 3rd world countries – I do think they would be more successfull and more professional about their invest in college when they decide to go. One son has a college degree, one has enlisted in the military reserves.

    I do think with so many college students unable to find jobs, that the college degree might not be as valuable as it has been since the 1940s. I also think entrepreneurship will be the bread and butter of the next few decades.

    We have told our sons that if they do not choose college, they need to understand their financial obligations for insurance, rent, food and other costs for which they will be responsible when they move out after high school graduation – which they will need to do after graduation. That is an eye-opening experience for them.

  19. Heather @ Sneakers Of Faith says:

    I attended a college prep school from k-12, so it was always basic knowledge that I would go to college. I graduated High School (after a terribly stressful senior year) and went right to a commuter college. I hated it. After 2.5 years, I stopped “to take a break” and heard all the same comments as you. During that time I worked & wound up moving to the east coast! I found a job I LOVED (teaching preschoolers with autism), wonderful and godly friends & my almost husband! We are getting married next weekend!

    My family pressured me to go to college because they did not & wanted “the best” for me. I do wish that I would have had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home daughter, but then my life wouldn’t have worked out this way! I am now in the process of marriage planning & starting my own business so I can work at home and care for my husband. God’s timing always works best!

    Sorry to be writing a book, here, but it is SO nice to find someone who views a college degree the same as I do! Great for some, but not for me ~ at least right now!

  20. Thank you so much for this post! I have 4 kids under the age of 7 and we are already thinking about how to shepherd our children. I used to think college was the next step after high school. I wasn’t going to stay at home, have kids or teach. Well, God sure has a sense of humor since I stay at home, homeschool and would love the blessing of more kids. I have family that think college should be next so this will be a great post to show them.

    As far as going against the norm, we did that with our children. Everyone thought 2 should be enough especially since we had a girl and a boy. The comments were so negative with our 3rd child, we chose not to hear them with our 4th, so we didn’t call those people when our 4th was born. I hated that during a time where we were filled with joy, people had such negative comments. Now, though, they are so used to us and the size of our family, most people ask when the next one will be coming along! Sometimes it just takes time for people to wake up to something that goes against the norm!

  21. Thank you ladies for all your heartfelt comments. They were a blessing to me. I’m so glad so many of us can relate and that we don’t have to go against the grain alone. Keep on striving for the Lord and following His will!

  22. Thank you for your post. I agree you must follow the path you feel led of the Lord to do. I can certainly relate to going against the grain. For one, simply Home Schooling, is certainly going against the grain. We have been blessed with 5 boys, we have kept them with us in church, rather than sending them to Junior Church and age segregated groups. We do everything together as a family and our boys are not involved in town sports. It is not always easy to go against the grain and often stand alone, but if you feel it is what the Lord wants you to do, it is always the best choice :)

  23. Hey Ashley,
    I have stumbled upon your blog through other posts a few times in the past and I decided to subscribe after reading this post. It is refreshing and encouraging to see someone standing firm on what they believe God has led them to do, and on top of that, reacting to questions with Godly character rather than getting defensive or lashing out. You are a blessing.

  24. Thank you so much for this post! I just came across your blog, but I will probably try to follow it as much as I can from now on. :)

    I am 17 years old and a Senior in high-school. I’m not completely sure yet, but for a while now I have been feeling that God is calling me not to go to college. It’s tough for me to admit that to a lot of people because of the reactions that you describe in your post. People just don’t understand why I don’t WANT to go to college, why I don’t WANT to have a ‘normal’ career.

    With the feminism movement, women were, for a while, given a choice about whether or not they wanted to go to college and have a career, but it was still acceptable to pass that up for the traditional role in society. Now, however, women are expected to be ‘successful.’ Being a stay-at-home mother or choosing to forgo college is simply not acceptable to many. This is the frustration I struggle with.

    I know that God has wonderful things in store for my life if I’m willing to follow His leading, but I also know that it won’t always be easy along the way. Anyway, thank you again for this wonderful post! It really has been an encouragement to me! :)

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I pray that the Lord will give you strength to follow whatever His plans are for your life, even if they may not the norm. His strength is sufficient for our every need.

      I hope you will continue to join us! An easy way to stay up to date is by following Stay-At-Home Daughter on Facebook or Twitter.

  25. :) I am so happy to find someone like myself!!! Likeminded. GO YOU!:D I also have no plans for college, &am 19. Here is my blog: http://buildingmysukkah.wordpress.com
    It’s new, &I do plan to add a whole lot more too it=). Thanks for inspiring!!!<3 ~Sarah

  26. I completely agree with EVERYTHING you said. I was raised to believe that I had to choose between go to college and be well off or don’t go to college and live in poverty. My well-meaning parents pushed college for the longest time. Now, at twenty-five years of age, after getting married and starting a family, they’ve backed off a bit since they know where my heart is. But, the pressures of going back to college always weight on my mind. In fact, my past insistence to go to college almost destroyed my marriage. You can read a bit about that here: http://www.intentionalwomanhood.com/2011/11/becoming-intentional-part-two-finding.html

    Now following you!

  27. I too, completely agree Ashley. I spent many years in college. I see now that I went because that was what I was supposed to do. Now, I honestly wish I could have those years {and the $} back. I know the Lord uses all things to His good. I believe if nothing else I can encourage our children to seek the Lords perfect will for them, and for them to follow His plan…not the voices and pressures of this world. I love your thoughts and blog!

  28. Hi, Ashley! I love your blog and congrats on your book. I teach English at a Christian high school, and I agree with you that God does not call everyone to college. In fact, one of my dearest friends went from homeschooling to working in a bank to running an office to starting a home business. She is also a wonderful wife and mother. And many big name colleges have agendas that have more to do with molding a person’s life view to fit the world than preparing young people for their careers. So I think you have a point!

    Wishing you many blessings as you follow God’s path for your life!

  29. Thank you for your inspiring post, Ashley! I agree that college (and any other major decision) needs to be the will of God. I am 19 years old… and I am in college.

    I sought God so fervently about attending college. When I felt I should go, I received a full ride scholarship to any Ivy League or top school that sponsored the scholarship (Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Notre Dame, Dartmouth, etc). This full ride included school expenses, living expenses, transportation AND a small stipend. Whoo! What a scholarship!

    But then this is where it gets weird… I was praying about which university to choose off of the list, and the answer came back: “None of them.” Ouch. haha, Not what I was expecting.

    So I didn’t take the scholarship, and everyone thought I was crazy. I realized, though, that sometimes the things of God look foolish in the sight of man– but that doesn’t make them any less of God.

    So I prayed about attending university at all– again. And again, I felt I should go.

    It wasn’t until June before my first semester that God answered my questions “where” and “how.” He sent me to Houston, TX (nearly 2500 miles from my family–eek!) on two scholarships (no loans–praise the Lord!).

    And now that I’m actually in college, I’m beginning to see why God brought me here. Not to further my education (though that’s certainly happening) or to make myself look superior or even to get a degree that will make me lots of money.

    Instead, God has opened my eyes to this little world we live on. He has made me sensitive to the pain and plight of others, to the joy and blessings of others. He has shown me things that are displeasing to Him about this world, and He has taught me what true joy and faith are.

    Sometimes it’s tough– feeling like you’re the only one in the whole metropolis of Houston seeing how empty their lives are without Jesus– but I know it’s all worth it because I’m where God wants me to be.

    Now, nearly a year away from home, I am feeling the Lord’s prompting to go back and attend a university only a couple of hours from home. Needless to say, I’ve met a lot of opposition from Houston. Even my grandfather told me that if I transferred or left Houston I would be “ruining myself and losing my soul.” But I HAVE to do what I feel the Lord wants me to do.

    :) So that’s my story of how I went against the flow and am currently going against the flow. :) Looking forward to reading more of your blog posts!


  30. It can be hard to go against the grain especially when you get blank looks or patronizing answers from others when they learn of your choices.
    I went against the grain too even though I did go to college. But instead of attending a traditioanl college, I chose to study through a distance learning program. Some people (a lot?) didn’t really see a distance-learning program as a viable, worthwhile education program.

  31. Hi there! I happened upon your blog through the homemaking link-up. I am a college grad and my husband has a PhD and is a college professor. When the subject comes up though, we surprise many people around us. We firmly believe that college isn’t for everyone and hope our children will follow the path God has for them. I plan to educate our children in such a way that college is attainable, but we don’t intend to push them there (even though it is free for them to attend at their father’s university).

    Our 6 year old often tells us she won’t go to college, whether that is simply a product of her age or not remains to be seen. Her younger sister never talks about any profession other than wife and mother. We will see what comes one of these days, but I want to tell you I commend you for following the path you felt led to and I wish you a happy home!

  32. melinda k says:

    I went to college to prove to my Dad that I could make something of my life. I don’t regret most of the time I spent in college, but I do regret paying for it through student loans since I didn’t receive very many grants and my parents couldn’t afford to pay for any of us to go. 4 out of 5 went to college. 3 of us graduated. Only 1 is using her degree to the fullest. I’ve always wanted to be a Wife and Mom, but never had any guys ask me out on a date so I felt God leading me down the path of college. I did use my degree for several years (youth ministries), but then embraced the admin gifts He revealed to me after serving in my Church. I’m still single, over 35, and have been a Nanny for the past year and a half. I still believe that God will allow me to be a Wife and Mom, hopefully soon, and see this time as opportunities to hone my homemaking skills while getting paid to care for kiddos. There are times that are tough to continue, to be patient, to trust God, but I know He has the Best in mind for me. I tell my Nephews and Nieces that they can do/be anything that God is calling them to, and that may not include a college education. My oldest Sister with the degree in use doesn’t agree with this.at.all, and reminds them (more like imposes on them) every time she sees them.
    Thank you for sharing your story, and for allowing me to share part of mine.

  33. *laughs* Strange looks aren’t anything new, I guess! I’m just wondering how I’m going to explain to people that I’m not even going to ‘graduate’ from ‘high school’. “Truly educated people never graduate”, and why go with the world’s standard of ‘graduating’ a prescribed set of ‘education’ rituals like they do in government schools? But still, trying to tell people that is like telling them I won’t go to college (though I may do online courses, I don’t know yet). ;) Hee hee! It’s always nice to know that you’re not the only one out there. Thanks for the encouragement!

  34. I love this blog, you are such an amazing young woman! Its encouraging to us Moms that there are some young ladies who do not depart from what they are taught, and follow God with all of their heart! You are so wise beyond your years, good for you for making this decision and even better for standing up for yourself! I have a four year degree and my husband and I have felt that God is leading me to be a homemaker for the long haul, even though my children are young now, the idea of using that degree which I got because I didn’t feel that I had any other options and just wanted to graduate, like everyone else around me.. the idea of using it even in the future is very unlikely. Now, if only I didn’t have those student loan payments to worry about paying back ;)
    I’ll keep you in my prayers and keep up with your blog, you are a very big encouragement! God bless you for sharing!

  35. Ashley! You couldn’t have reposted this at a better time!I started reading your blog back in May and everything you posts always encourages me, but this one especially. I just surrendered to the ministry in July after a year of ‘arguing’ with God about it. The only problem is I am three years into a four year nursing program at a fairly prestigous christian college where I am also a scholarship cheerleader. After much prayer, I could not get a peace about returning to finish my degree there and felt led to transfer to liberty online and pursue a Bible degree. I am patiently waiting on God to send me wherever He sees fit for ministry. Many of my friends, teachers, family, and coaches can not understand this. I realize it is not logical but I am simply trying to be obedient. I completely agree that God has creative plans for each of us and am so encouraged by your persistence to follow His plan and not the world’s. My youth pastor reminded me of Gal. 1.10 through all this and this reminded me of that too. Thanks for sharing!

  36. Thanks for those encouraging words, I’ve really felt pressured lately and urged to go to college. The world tells me you can only become someone, or be great by going to college, I’m 15 and I’m really questioning everything. So by reading this, it’s inspiring, and I know I should just keep praying!

  37. Your decision is perfectly reasonable. You came to it on the basis of what you believe to be right for you, and you’re not dogmatic about it. I respect that.

    Life is not a cookie-cutter experience; we all have to make our way in this world to the best of our abilities. Some people like to believe they have all the answers for everybody, but nobody really does. It’s wonderful that you figured that out at a relatively young age.

    I wish you the best in your endeavors.

  38. Thank you so much for this post! It puts into perfect words what I’ve been trying to explain to my friends and family for 2 years now. The amount of gasps when it became known that I had moved back in with my parents with the goal of being more prepared to be a wife and mother was astounding! It can be so hard sometimes to explain that no, this is my calling! So, thank you ever so much!

  39. Hannah Rose says:

    Thanks so much for this piece on college. I graduated this spring, and ever since, all I seem to be hearing, is “where are you going to college,” “More education is always better,” “you have wonderful gifts, why would you waste them by staying at home?”
    But it is very clear that God is calling to me to remain at home. He has called me to learn how to submit to, honor, respect, and serve my father in order to practice for the future. He is also training me in the biblical model of a daughter and wife, giving me skills in homemaking, and called me to constantly learn to work on relationships at home instead of running away from them.
    Back in February I made a commitment to “respecting and encouraging the men in my life, hungering after and placing actions into gaining knowledge, and striving to guard my heart and thoughts so that they may be honoring to God, and the overflow may be uplifting to those around me.”
    This has been difficult to explain to some family members, and friends. But what is most hurtful is some of the people in my church who were willing to support me a few years ago when god was calling me to the missions field, but now don’t want to support me in this calling, because they think I need “better” in my life.
    But God has blessed me through young woman seeking after a similar life, a mother newly engrossed in the biblical model for a wife, and those like you who truly seek to follow God WHEREVER He leads.

  40. Great post! Its so true that college is not the only option. I actually went to college and just graduated but found that I’m actually learning a lot more life skills outside of the classroom. In a sense I’ve been doing a lot of homeschooling for myself now that I’ve graduated and have been learning by leaps and bounds! College is not the only way; God has given us everything we need to grow, learn and build character in every aspect of life.
    College is a great option for those who are called to go but it’s not the only option.
    Thanks again for this wonderful post!

  41. This is very encouraging to me. I am going against the grain right now by marrying my fiance this summer. I am a college sophomore right now and I will be going home and finishing online to become a teacher. It has been tough for me because I would have like to not go to college, but the Lord called me to teach years ago and this is what I have to do in order to teach. I will say that he taught me a lot by giving me a wonderful roommate. My highest calling is to be a Biblical wife and mother and I hope to stay at home and homeschool if it possible. It has been hard with my family who believes that college is wonderful and they don’t understand why I would rather be married and be at home. College truly isn’t for everyone. It’s not for me but I have to push through it to do what He has called me to do. Biblical women are hard to find now, but I hope to be one of them. I know I am rambling a bit, but I just wanted to share and say how encouraging it is to know that I am not alone.

  42. Ashley,

    I stumbled upon your blog while reading an article online. As a Christian I appreciate and admire your dedication to serving God in what you believe to be the path he has for you. I agree that not all people and far more people than we think are not fit to attend college…as in they do not agree that is the the plan for their life. I am curious though if you have considered that not everyone gets married and has children just the same as not all people go to college. I understand this is the path you are certain God has for you. I too through the years have been almost certain of the things God wanted for me in my life and He surprised me. Is it possible that you don’t get married? And continue to serve him as a single woman without a spouse for the rest of your life?? Have you thought about the possibility of not having or being able to have children? I know this is your goal for the time being…just wondering if God could surprise you? (And I don’t mean by sending you to college specifically). I mean could He do somethingg that changes your path?

    • Hi Briana,
      That’s a good question and maybe I’ll answer it in more detail in a blog post.

      In short I believe God gives us the desires of our heart if the are saved, spirit filled, submissive, suffering and being sanctified. He will either give us the desires that we currently have or He will change our desires to match His.

      Is it possible that I wont get married? Maybe…. if I choose to stop pursuing Christ but I believe He’s laid marriage and family on my heart and so do my authorities and other professionals. For me personally, I don’t think I have to worry about that but I’m not speaking for every person.

  43. Hi Ashley! Right now I’m between a rock and a hard place. I am about to begin my third year of college, majoring in Family Studies/Child Development. My college experience has not been bad at all. I’m at a small Christian university (the same one my parents attended!), surrounded by loving, godly people. However, throughout these past 2 years, deep in the recesses of my heart, there’s always been this feeling that college is not my calling. Something within me has always longed to be a SAHD, and pined for my home and family. ;)

    All this to say, I am really gaining some great insight from reading your blog! I’m thankful for you sharing some wisdom on this subject. As I’ve been praying God will guide me in His ways, this blog has been very helpful! I’m still not sure if I will make the transition to stay-at-home-daughterhood, finish my degree and return home, or stick it out at school and see what happens. But I just wanted you to know that you’ve been a great help!

  44. Ashley, I loved reading this. I so appreciate the eloquent way you state your position, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. Even though I *am* in college (senior year, actually), I believe that success lies not with “making something of myself” or pursuing the American dream, but with making something of Jesus and pursuing God’s dream (making Him known).
    Thanks for this!

  45. I totally agree with you. And it’s super hard when you’re in grade 12, and people are pressuring you to go to school. ‘That’s the only option!’ Or so they think. And I did go to school. After spending hours crying about what I was supposed to do, especially since I really just wanted to be a wife and a mom. I got married after my first year at school. And was pregnant for my second year. Now I’m happily married and mother to the two sweetest boys. This IS my dream job. Being a wife and mother. It’s so great to know other people think likewise. God does have a plan for us all, and it doesn’t always include post-secondary and lots of money.

  46. Jessica MacRae says:

    It’s great that you had a post on this because I’ve long thought I would go to Uni and get a high paying job. Lately I’ve been looking at my parents relationship (both work shifts part time) and reading blogs about marriage and I think their busyness is not something I want to copy.
    I have already considered spending a couple of months with my aunty and grandma to learn home skills. I’m quite smart but I don’t like lots of pressure. I’m reconsidering if I even go to Uni, I know that I’ll feel like a disappointment if I don’t go or at least get job before I have kids. I really have no idea anymore and will just be waiting on God and deciding what I would do if I wasn’t afraid (the best question I’ve found to ask).
    I’ve been thinking about going and working part time in something like medicine or teaching/administration.

    P.s I go to a public school and as is I’m the only practising Christian that I know there. I don’t really talk about these ideas because I know that they wouldn’t understand me.

    Sorry for the essay. :)

  47. hello there, i saw your blog when you commented on themattwalshblog.com about why he didn’t go to college. Look i am a college student in my third semester. Lately i felt like i was caught up within the mainstream routine, going to to college. Now in days, going to college has become “keep up with jones” stuff……… and back in highschool a new religion is formed “college is the only way to be wealthy!!!!” “if you don’t go…you are going to live in crappy apartment, have a hooptie car” ……….. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA but now one talks about that college grads have low end jobs, and low end apartments, yeah sure no one talks about that……….I want to know how was your experience with out college…….also i am such a newbie into the world of blogging and i am soon to open my new blog…can you give me any advice?

    thank you

  48. This is THE BEST article I’ve ever read!! Thank you SO much for writing it! I got all of those same responses when I decides not to go. People actually treat me with contempt because they can NOT stand the fact that I’m not going. I know it’s not God’s will for my life. Again, thank you for this encouraging, wonderful post!!! :-)

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