You don’t have to go to college.
For Jude’s sake, it’s something we all forget. We think we have to go sit in classrooms for another four years. And if you’re like me, that prospect isn’t exactly unappealing. I like to learn; I like worksheets and projects and papers and notes. But we forget that we don’t have to go. That some of us aren’t called to go.
But did you ever realize—really, really realize-- you can move to Michigan and get a job working for a nonprofit and rent a little apartment and buy clothes at Goodwill and honor God and keep in touch and love your life right out of high school?
Did it ever come to mind that you can live with your parents and save your money and go on a trip following the course of the Civil War and write down every little thing and come home to suburba to write a bestseller?
You know you can fly to England with a friend, get a job at a coffee shop or a museum gift store and start a bible study, being a Christian where you’re at, ministering to people because they’re the only eternal thing on this earth beside God Himself?
“It’s not accredited,” people will warn.
Like you can’t learn if you don’t have something telling you that you did learn something after all. Like I can’t do something without a piece of paper telling you I did do something.
“It’s a waste of time,” they’ll say.
You deem it a waste of time, maybe. But it’s not your time. I’m spending it, spending it on living life, living life in a crazy way and it’s brave and it’s insane and I might be poor but I’m living. And how is living ever a waste of time?
“But how will you survive?” they’ll worry.
How have I survived thus far? If I can survive within the accepted bounds of society surely I can survive outside of them, because I’ve never really given a darn for what society thinks anyway. Society is just a bunch of people, and I’m not really good at listening to other people and doing what they say. It’s not their place to tell me what to do.
Besides, it’s not like it’s my decision if I survive. Stay within God’s will and that’s what matters. He’s the one who decides if I’ll survive.
“You get an experience going to college and living life on your own, and you can’t get that anywhere else,” they’ll tell me.
And you don’t get an experience throwing yourself wholeheartedly into something and learning with your own hands instead of learning from others? As long as you don’t graduate and loaf, and exist, and just be at your parents’ house, you’ll be having an experience. If you live, you’re having an experience.
They’ll just all be different experiences.
“You’re going to throw away your future,” they’ll promise me.
Future? Great. What about the now? Live in the now. Eventually the future becomes the now anyway. What are you really throwing away by living but worry and undue stress about some great unanticipatable, unseeable something in the future?
Just do it wisely. Save your money, take no loans, and what can’t you do? Stay in the green, don’t belong to anyone, and where can’t you go? If you owe nothing to anyone you’re basically unstoppable.
Besides, it’s not like you can’t start over. It’s not like if you fail you can’t come home. It’s not like you can’t return. You have things to come back to. And honestly, you can start college any time. You can go back. Nothing is finite.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with Nikola. You see, Nikola doesn’t fail. I asked her about this once, and she said it’s because she can’t. If there are setbacks and mistakes and small failures it’s all right as long as she maintains and achieves her main objective. If you fail somewhere, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed forever. It’s once. Move on. It’s not a failure if you learn, if you keep going. It depends on how you define your failure.
How do you define success?
College isn’t it for me. I don’t think so, anyway. It’s a revolutionary idea.
You don’t have to go to college.
You could live.
I mean, it’s crazy.
But hey, when have I ever claimed to be normal?
Christina Kuri Icarus