I didn’t finish college. I do not have a college degree. There I said it. Now it is out there for the world to know. Deep inside I have always felt as though I somehow was not a full person without a degree, a bit embarrassed to tell others. I loved school and I wanted to finish college, but when my daughter was born I made the decision to focus on raising her and then my other two boys—diving straight into motherhood. I didn’t want any regrets with regard to my kids, but instead I exchanged that for a regret over my education, or lack of.
That is until recently. I was talking with my daughter-in-law, who on that particular week had a bigger paycheck than my son. And the reason that is noteworthy is because he has a degree but she does not. Not because she is not smart enough, on the contrary, she is brilliant. (After all she did marry my son.) And she was at Baylor University receiving a partial academic scholarship—which is quite an accomplishment.
I asked her if she planned on returning to college. She said, “Why? I love what I am doing. The people I work with have degrees and make the same or less than I do. What would be the reason? I am doing exactly what I want with my life, and a college degree wouldn’t make any difference.” Now here’s the best part: “I want to be a mom someday and what would be the use in going into debt for a college degree when I have what I want?”
She possesses so much wisdom at such a young age. She is totally right! Think of how many college graduates you know right now without a job. Think of the many college graduates in debt for thousands of dollars. Think of the many adults you know who are still paying off their student loans, many years into the progression of their family.
To be so grounded at such a young age and know what one wants is nothing short of amazing and extremely impressive.
Why do we push our kids to do what we think they should do? I have talked with countless young people who say that adults have discouraged them from pursuing what they want in life. Either because they don’t think they will be able to make enough money or because adults think it is not practical. Let me ask you: When do we ever have enough money?
But a fulfilling life-path—doing something that you enjoy and are passionate about—that is a reason to get up in the morning!
Please understand me, there are many professions in which one needs a college degree. No one wants a doctor or a lawyer without the proper schooling. However, encouraging young people to pursue something they love is a concept that seems to be a lost practice.
Which brings me to my final “a-ha” moment. Why have I been regretting a choice I made years ago? A choice I made that was the right choice at the time, a choice that has brought so much joy and so much happiness. The choice to give all of my energy into being a wife and a mom was the right choice without a doubt. And now, many years later, I have amazing children, and a brilliant daughter-in-law, who all love God, love life, and are thriving, productive people—and that is the biggest blessing in which no degree could ever bring.
No regrets! The only regret was allowing myself to have regrets, and it took one very smart, grounded and godly, young “daughter” to talk sense into this sometimes-dense “older woman.”
Live with no regrets and encourage others to do so as well!