I received an email from a young woman who spent several years pursuing a degree, only to find herself later with heaps of debt, feeling disappointed and cheated after trying to fit in with the idea that each woman must have a prestigious education and career in order to be considered accomplished. She kindly gave me her permission to share her testimony with you, so here it is before you.
I am a 23 year old American girl and I feel so torn in my life right now. You see, after high school, my parents pressured me into going to college even though I was only 17 and didn't know what I wanted to do with my life or what God wanted me to do with my life. They said I could never achieve any sort of success unless I went to college.
Four and half years later, I have a bachelors degree in American History, and owe thousands and thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Let's just say the amount of student loan debt I am in is the equivalent of buying two new convertibles!
For the last five years or so, I have barely spent time at home. I went to college in two different states, switched college majors three times, and basically went through the motions of school to appease my parents and "make something of myself". I realize now, after wasting so much time, that I want to be a wife and mother. I want to stay at home and be the woman God meant for me to be.
I am currently in the process of moving back home with my parents, so I can prepare for my future husband and learn the valuable skills I missed out on while gaining my so-called "education".
Yet, I keep feeling that it is too late for me. I am so buried in debt right now. Will I ever be able to be a housewife? Will I even be able to ever find a man who follows the Lord and wants a stay at home wife? Will my huge student loan debt be too much for my husband? I feel so ashamed for the last four and half to five years of my life. I fell into all the feminist propaganda and right now I regret going to college at all!
My parents don't even know that I want to be a housewife! They keep telling me to find a career and make a game plan for my life and how I need to find a high paying job! Right now I am working two dead end jobs but...will they accept me for wanting to be a wife and mother? Will they scoff and laugh at me?
I asked the Lord to forgive me, and I know through His mercy that he can fix all of this and turn it around. He can give me a new start but I still can't help but feel I messed everything up.
Do you think it is too late?
Certainly, nothing is impossible to God and at 23, it's definitely not too late to make a complete turnaround in one's life. However, I can appreciate the difficulty of this young woman's situation, having gone in the pursuit of a degree myself long before I had decided what I wanted to do with my life, simply because it was expected.
I'm not saying that if a young woman feels she is called to be a wife and mother, she should not pursue an education, which might or might not include a university or college degree. However, it would be possible to make a careful plan and choose a path of education that would not leave her in debt later on, something that can become a burden on her future family.
For example, if a young woman would eventually like to become a full-time homemaker, there isn't much sense for her to go through the long years of hard work in medical school. She might also want to continue, if it is possible, to live at home with her parents so she can have more opportunities to hone her homemaking skills.
That is just to say, young women would be much better served to consider their educational choices in light of what they want to become in a lifelong perspective.