Right Off Course
Right Off Course
When you do not follow the intended route.
In my previous blog, I wrote a post (The Degree Stigma) from my heart after a situation that occurred while receiving my diploma. It was important to me to speak out my frustration in hopes that it would help others. I believe it did, and that my words served a purpose. Since I have created a new blog focused on my photography, I wanted to repost that same content with a new name. A name that will hopefully draw in-need readers in. So here you go:
DISCLAIMER: I am a supporter of being as educated as you are CALLED to be. I believe that being educated is admirable and necessary.
I am 26 years old and I just finished my Associates in Arts degree. It is a simple degree, and one that is not very specific, but it is a degree. A degree I have worked hard for.
Today I went to the community college where I completed my degree and I felt discouraged walking out the door. There was a woman who was assisting me and as she handed me my diploma, she asked, “so are you going on to continue your education?” I told her not right now but maybe sometime in the future. The incredibly judgmental look she gave me told me that she strongly disapproved of my decision and that the diploma I had just earned, and worked very hard for, was not good enough. There were so many things I wanted to say to her, but of course I did not say anything because I lack skill when it comes to speaking my mind.
So here is what I have to say:
There is a path in life which society has determined is the only way to success. This path is weighted and comes with a great amount of pressure. If you sway from this path you are abnormal and you are not going to be successful in this world (so our society says). This path looks like this: graduate high school (with honors), attended a university, graduate within four years, and then you will land a dream job that will make you a lot of money.
While that is true for many people, it is not always that case.
1. Not everyone has the resources to be able to attend college as soon as they graduate from high school.
- Yes, there are programs to help and I HIGHLY recommend looking into them. There are wonderful resources and there are so many programs available. However, not every parent can afford to help their child attend college no matter how much they would like to, and there is a strict margin for who qualifies for financial aid. There are scholarships (which are wonderful), and there are student loans, but they have to be paid back (and that can be a heavy burden right out of school). Not every child comes from a place where their education can be fully provided for financially. Sometimes we are quick to judge a college aged person who is working as a waitress to make ends meet instead of in a classroom reading a textbook that costs $300.
Fortunately, I was able to qualify for financial aid. I took a class here and there so I could work and pay for what I could as I went. It was a long time coming, but I do not have student loans, and I do not owe a dime to anyone. And, I’m finished.
Ready? HERE IS THE SLAP IN THE FACE:
2. Not everyone is called to go to college (Yes, really).
- This is a big world with many people in it. To make this world go round, God has a plan for each and every one of us. Sometimes what we are called to do DOES require us to receive some form of education, whether that be an Associates Degree, or a Doctorate. If God has called you to do something that requires you to be educated on the subject, then praise Jesus, there are programs out there to aid you in your calling. However, sometimes God places specific skills in people that do not require a four or even a two year degree. Sometimes people know what they want to be before they even graduate high school and they set out on that path, and sometimes people need a few years to work in the world before they know what they want to be. Sometimes, people raise their family before they know what they want to be. And I’m here to tell you….that is okay.
I am done with this “degree stigma” that I am just now naming as I type. I am done with this incredible pressure that is put on our youth. I feel that this is a time our youth should be encouraged and motivated to find what they are called to do. Yes, education is important, and needed. No one can ever strip you from your education. It is admirable when someone has worked hard on his or her education to receive his or her Master’s Degree (or beyond). But don’t judge me for working hard for my Associates in Arts Degree.
I took my own path out of high school. I did play college volleyball for a year, but certain events happened in my life and it was best that I moved home. I traveled the world and went on numerous mission trips all while working and taking classes. There was a point in my life that I was working a full time job, planning my wedding, and going to school. I did this up until I delivered my son. The same month my son was born I finished my last class.
Right now I work at a hospital under multiple certificate levels. I am the one that cares for the elderly lady who cannot feed, change, or bathe herself. Not everyone can do my job, but I can do my job, and I can do it well. I do it because I have a good heart, and I have a calling. A calling to comfort and care for people. This is the season I am in. We are all in a season, and we are all doing the best we can.
I may go back and do more school, but I may not. God has major plans for me. I have been blessed to have seen and do things that many people my age have not yet experienced. My path does not look like everyone else’s so don’t judge me for not fitting the mold.
I could expand on this in a million ways, but I think I have gotten my point across….
So to you who has become discouraged with your path:
God has a plan and a purpose for your life. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Hold on to His truth. You do not have to fit the mold in which society tries to place us in. If an education aids you in your calling, go for it! But don’t let the heavy burden of this world pressure you into discouragement. God has a plan for your life.
“FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU, DECLARES THE LORD. PLANS TO PROSPER YOU AND NOT TO HARM YOU. PLANS TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE.” –Jeremiah 29:11