To College Or Not To College: Godly Advice From A Christian Teenager

To College Or Not To College: Godly Advice From A Christian Teenager

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!” – Psalm 31:24

(If I had come across a post like this when I was in high school, I would have benefited from it immensely. That’s why it’s my goal on Dreaming of Guatemala to share advice that I would have appreciated when I was younger! It would bless me so much to be able to be that inspiration for someone else. ❤ )

My Story:

In 2014, I was very excited to start 9th grade. I wasn’t quite sure what being a junior in high school would entail, but I was homeschooled, so I was honestly just excited to start working on some new subjects, haha! #I’mATotalNerd However, when I was about fourteen years of age, there was a sudden difference in how people talked to me, a switch that I didn’t even know existed.

COLLEGE became the topic of all conversation.

I’d really like to know why everyone thinks that being in high school = you know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life?? The pressure from and expectations of society to begin pursuing a higher education (even though you’re still, like, finishing up the last third of your primary education haha) is insanely overwhelming. It is most certainly why nearly all of my peers have already started the college process by this point.

I can’t even begin to tell you what kind of anxiety and depression I faced over the last two summers. In 2017, I looked into some colleges. I thought about it a lot and prayed about it deeply. I did not feel led to pursue anything, so I started my senior year (12th grade) blindly following the Lord and allowing my faith to rest in Him. (Although, I’ll be frank with you, my faith did very little ‘resting’ these past couple of years.)

I graduated from high school in May of 2018.

I did not have any college plans.

I still don’t on the day I write this.

And because I was looking to society to validate my academic choices, I felt like I was failing.

Society has a way of making the decisions of the masses look like the only course of action.

Society also pushes to validate the beliefs, opinions, and choices of popular individuals. Just look at YouTube Trending right now. (Actually, wait – don’t do that. Keep reading this post!) Social media absolutely loves making fake lives look real, because it forces the rest of us to want what famous people don’t even have!!!

College is another one of those things. Most people go to college, so I have to, as well.

… Right?

What if we all stopped looking at the world?

What if we looked at our unique situation and based our decisions on what will work for us? Do you know what kind of heartache, financial burden, and regret we’d save ourselves from? (I actually have no idea, and you don’t either, but you get my point.)

I am so very tired of thinking my life is being wasted because I’m not pursuing college at the moment. Because I’m not doing the “normal” thing for someone my age (although, what is normal?), I have felt, countless times, like I’m doing nothing. That doesn’t make any sense!

College wasn’t the next natural step for me after high school for a great many reasons. Here’s a wee list:

  1. I didn’t want to start out my adult life in instant debt.
  2. I’m not interested in earning a degree in any field.
  3. I love using resources to teach myself.
  4. I desire to follow the Lord’s will for my life.

… and so much more.

Let’s focus on that last point for a moment, shall we?

Leaving College In The Lord’s Hands

Faith is one of the hardest lessons for a Christian to learn.

It truly is.

The Lord has been challenging me to trust Him since day one of my relationship with Him, and I am literally just now getting to the point where I can happily say that I desire for Him to work in my life.

The reason it took me this long (about seven years or so?) is because I thought, for a very long time, that trusting God = bringing what I want to Him and asking for His blessing. I never considered the topic in so many words, but it was by this prayer mindset that I lived. Here are some examples from my teenage years:

I want to go to that concert, Lord. I know You’ll work it out for me to attend.

I want to be friends with this girl I just met. She’s really nice, so I know You want us to be friends.

I want to date this guy, and everything seems to be working out, so it has to be Your will.

Can you see how centered on myself these prayers were?

I was praying about things that I certainly could have trusted Him with, but that’s not what I was doing at all. I was telling Him about what I wanted and expected Him to bless it because those things, relationships, etc., would certainly enhance my life.

I didn’t stop to consider that maybe He had more beautiful plans for me than I could have ever hoped or asked for.

College fits snugly into this category, as well.

I kept thinking (and incorporating into my prayers), Everyone else is going to college, Lord! It has to be the right thing to do. Even though I don’t want to rush off to college, I want to make the right decision. Can this really be the right decision for me?

Every time I prayed about college, I knew He was asking me to wait.

At this point, I have no idea; I may very well go to college someday. If that ends up being in my mid- to late twenties, or it’s something I pursue once my future children grow up, I don’t need this knowledge right now. What I’m learning to do, through everything the Lord is teaching me, is how to trust Him with my present. The future is beautifully in His hands.

Looking at my life now, I am insanely grateful that I’m still living at home, pursuing various areas of study on my own. I love being with my baby sisters, growing closer to my brothers, and having heartfelt conversations with my parents.

I’m pursuing adulthood at a pace that is comfortable for me, because it is right in the center of the Lord’s will.

The Lord knows exactly what He has in store for your life. Trusting in Him goes so much deeper than reciting Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We have sadly become desensitized to the beauty of this verse, which is why I am very grateful just how many times He reassures us in His Word. I especially love this one from Psalms I just found:

“The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart through all generations.” – Psalm 33:11

Just as He cared for every single person in the Bible, His affection and guidance can be evident in our lives today! He asks that we would trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior. Accepting Him into our hearts is the first step in a relationship that will bring about fulfillment, enjoyment, and satisfaction in the life He has given us.

If you are at the point in your life where college decisions are closing in on you, making it harder and harder for you to breathe, reach out to the One Who created your very soul. He is more than willing to fill your future with peace – just call on His name.

40 thoughts on “To College Or Not To College: Godly Advice From A Christian Teenager

  1. This was so so good Maggie! In the past few months I’ve really realized this. I used to beg God for things, like literally beg and I was like, “Oh yeah, I’m totally trusting the Lord here!” But I wasn’t. I started realizing that trusting the Lord means, “Thy will be done.” and saying, “My will be done!” is just using God to try to get what we want. Great post! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Omg Maggie I absolutely love this!! Everyone feels obligated to go to an expensive university/college in order to get a job but you really don’t need to if you don’t have the passion to continue. Personally, I feel like I do have the passion to keep learning into one specific field and hopefully scholarships can pay off for financial debts haha. But true it’s like everyone’s blindly following a path whether they want it or not. You have to want education in order to do well. Also, the thing you mentioned about putting your will in God’s hands is beautiful. In Islam, there’s prayers where you can ask for whatever you’d like after – usually you include general things like staying on the right path and going to heaven but there’s one paragraph followed by a prayer that you do when you’re contemplating between two things. Because at the end of the day, God knows what’s in store for you. (I used to never wrap my head around it because we have free will so I thought I can outsmart His knowledge when I was younger by stepping backwards instead of forwards haha but anyways, my brother told me that it’s like your whole life you were videotaped and then that data was erased from your mind and then the video just started again. That didn’t change your freewill but God knows everything as if it was pre-recorded.) Anyways, wow that was long. What I’m trying to say is that you can put two decisions to follow His will for and certain things will come up in your life that would make you know it’s the right decision. One time I did it when contemplating between different schools so when I went to transfer to that other one turns out all classes were full and that very year, the placed we moved was very far away from where the school I wanted to switch to was and it would’ve been way harder with transportation and God knows what would’ve happened if I went there. Oh my this comment is insanely long I’m so sorry. 😂 I hope you have a great day!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you, Bay! SERIOUSLY I can’t believe society has gotten us all to that point. There are SO many awesome opportunities in all of our lives without always including college in it! The Lord has it all figured out. ❤
      Haha no worries! I love long comments. You have a great day, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bravo!!! So encouraging. His kingdom is topsy-turvy. Follow His leading ALWAYS, it’s very intimate and unique with each of His children. This post ministered to me immensely, college years waaayyy behind me now, but it applies perfectly to other situations. We are IN this world, not OF it. Thank you for having the courage to share this publicly. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this. Although, I did attend university, let me tell you know, I see that at that young age of 18 (others sooner) we shouldn’t be stressed to know what we want to be. I changed my major several times all for different reasons. At the end, I wish I had trusted more in God instead of rushing myself through it just because everyone else I grew up in this small town had already graduated and landed their 9-5 job. And I feel that way sometimes too because after having my degree one would expect to land the job of their dreams, but now I feel something stirring inside of me that I am meant for something else. It’s a struggle, but it shouldn’t have to be one if we truly leave it to God’s will for our lives and if we trust and obey. Let’s drown out what society pens as normal and let’s wait patiently on the Lord as He writes our story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gloria ❤ It's lovely to hear from you!
      I think that college is a great option, but it's definitely not for everyone. I've heard that many people who chose college right after high school wish they would have waited some time before doing it, which is one of the reasons I'm glad I'm taking my time. That sounds like a beautiful plan! ❤


  5. I feel like a lot of jobs require a college education when it really isn’t needed to do the work. There’s still plenty of opportunities out there that you don’t need a degree for! In my opinion, I wouldn’t go back to college unless I wanted to do something that I truly needed that piece of paper for- like being a doctor or lawyer

    Liked by 1 person

  6. very interesting post. rhymes with my experience and feelings. one funny thing: most people and most of the society seem to think everyone in college knows what they are doing and what they want in life, but it’s not true. i dont know about other places, but from where I come from, a lot of people made mistakes but only realized later that if they had some good orientations earlier in life, they would have made better decisions long before entering college

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This was such an encouraging post! A great reminder to not worry about the future for God is in control. And I loved hearing your appreciation for the people and moments in your life right now. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank for this inspiring post, Maggie! I also noticed that people started asking me about college when I first entered high school. I don’t have any concrete plans for college right now but I’m doing dual credit at the local college. I really want to get away from doing college just because. I want to learn for learning’s sake and bettering myself.
    I’m so glad to be back 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for this 💕
    I think college is important personally for a Christian. I take duall enroll classes at an AMAZING Christian college, and I have grown in my faith so much I can’t even believe it. It’s a wonderful chance to learn and grow and go out of our comfort zones. My personal opinion is that college is important. It’s not for everyone, but God’s will be done! 💕💕

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi I am actually blown away because this is my actual life right now. It’s things like this that build my faith. This is exactly the thing I have been saying to myself and my peers lately. I went to college for one semester, and now I do random childcare. I know I am in the middle of the Lord’s will, faith is such a scary thing! The “certainty” of college is what people love. I am so uncertain about everything, but I am certain of His undying love and that His will is good. I’ve heard the talk from every adult and the crazy looks from every college student I talk to, but truly living by faith is going to be weird! Love that I am not alone. Thank you for making me feel understood, Lord knows my heart needed that. It’s awesome how the Lord will use us regardless of our qualifications, if the only thing I’m standing on is my faith then so be it!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Love this! I am 25 now, and I felt the same way. I went to college for 2 years because everyone else was, but I got nothing from it and I knew it wasn’t the right path for me. I didn’t want to waste anymore money going into a field that wasn’t for me. So glad I left! It really isn’t the only path and I’m so glad you did what was best for you instead of following what society says we should do!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you for sharing! As a homeschooling christian I have felt the same way! So cool to read another girls oppinions on the big topic of collage. 🙂 I have decided to missionary, travel, freelance and author instead of wasting thousands of dollars I do not have and years of work I could do online at home while doing other things if I wanted. (Not to mention the negative influences in collages including christian ones) I fully look foreword to reading more of your posts! Keep writing! 🙂


    1. You’re welcome! ❤ That sounds amazing. It's awesome to hear you're pursuing what's right for your life instead of rushing off to do what society pushes! Yes, I'm extremely blessed to be able to learn so many things outside of a classroom setting. I have no idea what kind of negative impact that would have on my faith! It's nice to meet you, thanks so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I so relate to this! There is so much pressure to know exactly what we want to do with our lives and we just need to trust in God instead. Also I totally get the point about begging God for my will to be done instead of his instead of trusting him xx

    Liked by 1 person

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