If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably lived your whole life thinking that the normal sequence of life is to graduate high school, attend college right away, then get a job and work until retirement. But does college have to come immediately after high school?
Perhaps not, and here are some reasons why college may not be for you – right now.
1. You need a gap year. If you’re indecisive and completely unsure about the path of your life, it doesn’t help to hurriedly jump into a four year college. Your time may be better put to use waiting, working, and figuring out the direction you want to head. Taking a gap year is not something to be embarrassed about. Choosing to spend time developing your goals might keep you from embarrassment four years down the road.
2. You won’t take it seriously. Why waste good, hard-earned money on something you’ll just fling away? If you want to have nothing but a social life, then you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to have a good time. But don’t get me wrong – college isn’t meant to be four years of only sweat, tears, and homework. Living in community should be fun and occasionally spontaneous. “Partying it up,” however, should be a byproduct or reward of hard work and dedication.
3. The college you’re looking at is not the right fit for you. Even if you decide attend a prestigious college that promises you a good job upon graduation, you might not be going to the right place at the right time. Is the college you’re looking at going to grow you as a person? Will it equip you with the right tools for life? Is the community flourishing or will it bring you down? Will the professors care for you as an individual or just as a number? These are all valid questions, but they can only be answered by you before you head off to college.
4. You don’t want to be well-rounded. You might be thinking, “Wow, that seems rather dramatic.” However, college has the unique advantage to develop your personhood far quicker and more deeply than any other organization. If you're not ready for that fast-paced growth, give it some time! Then once you're ready, search for a good college education that will grow your mind through professors and peers, develop your body through sports and recreation, and nourish your soul through chapel and uplifting discussions within the community.
Whether you identify with one or all of the points on this list, you may have a legitimate reason to not attend college at the moment. But that does not mean you need to stop learning. As Ephesians 4:15 tells us, “we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”
Never stop learning, no matter what stage of life you are in.