Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Pressure to get a higher degree

In a couple of months, I'm going to graduate, and since my grades are pretty good so far, I'm already facing pressure to get a higher degree. Once again, my convictions about the feminine role and my desire to be family-focused are clashing with my respect for my mother and wanting to show I trust and obey her.

Of course, the reason why I object is not so much about the degree itself, but more about what would come along with it, such as:

* The more I invest in professional studies, the more I will be expected to invest in a career later on. And even if I remain a single woman for the rest of my life, I don't think a competitive, all-consuming career would be the right path.
* Since I do think there's a good chance I will get married, it's important for me to show potential suitors I'm home-focused. How will it ever happen if they see me constantly working for professional improvement? I will not attract men who wish for their wife to be a keeper-at-home.
* The more I study, and the more successful I am in my studies and career, the more of a 'waste' it will be considered if I do leave it all to be a keeper-at-home later on. It will mean more pressure and more difficulties.
* After spending the past 3 years in college, I know what a dangerous and negative influence it can be on a young woman. Immoral lifestyle, ungodly teachings, ambition-saturated environment – who promises me it will not boggle my mind and lead me astray if I stay there for another couple of years?

Finally, I fail to see how doing research on rats or a cell culture, writing papers, doing laboratory work and in the end obtaining another diploma and a few letters after my name will help me advance in my God-given role: being a feminine woman, a homemaker, a wife and mother (as I hope that is what He has in plan for me). It will not make me more intelligent; it will not help me teach my children. So why should I invest time and money and risk what I believe in?

So… I'll be waiting to hear your feedback. What do you think a young lady should do when she faces pressure to get a high-paying career, be 'independent' and compete with men – not only from the outside world, but also from her family?


Buffy said...

Hi Anna

Thought I'd come and see you over here.

I don't really know what the answer is to your question but the thought that occured to me is that you are trying to second-guess where your life is going and what your future is. Maybe you need to focus on the present ie. what's the right thing to do right now rather than what will pay off in five years' time. Trust in God to sort out your future.

Maybe you will do further studies and meet your husband that way, who knows. There are so many different ways your life could turn out and you can only take one step at a time - and always into the dark it seems! There are many times when one thinks 'I just can't see how this is going to work out...' and it does, beautifully.

Well I hope that is food for thought and I have not offended you in anyway. I think you are a very interesting person.

Buffy said...

Sorry, should have also said, if God has another plan for you it will make itself quite clear before you commit to the studying. Keep your mind open.

Tracy said...

I was a 4.0 student throughout my high school career. I had no desire to go to college, as I wanted to get married and be a mom. I can't tell you the ridicule I faced from my teachers. They were talking to me about majors, colleges, tests to take, etc. When I told them I was going to get married and stay home, they told me I would be wasting my life.

Thankfully, my parents agreed with me. I didn't have to face what you are going through.

In your case, I THINK that your mother wants you to be successful. Perhaps she feels proud of your accomplishments, and it make her feel as though she has done a good job. Honestly, I have to fight this in myself, even as a believer. My oldest, Mac, is very smart. He can do anything that he sets his mind to. I am proud of him. I feel like I must have done something right!

Ah! But then I hear a quiet voice saying, "Success is not measured by grades, college scholarships, and careers. It is measured by love and obedience to the Lord." Fear and trembling follow. Have I raised him to love the Lord? Yes, I have tried.

As a non-believer, your mother won't see this flip side. Can you explain it gently to her?

Emily said...

Oh Anna, what a tough situation you find yourself in. I don't think I can give you any advice except the obvious - which is to really seek the Lord about it. Have you spoken to your mother much about it and explained why you don't want to pursue further school education or a career?

I know it's tough. My mother recently asked me, "So are you actually going to do anything with your degree when you finish?"

You are in my prayers Anna! In His care, Emily

Jordin said...

I know first-hand what you're going through.

Have you had a "sit-down talk" with your mother to explain exactly what kind of path you would like your life to take? Have you told her that you want to be a KAH? In my situation, even though I knew for a fact what God's plan for me was, I hesitated to tell my mother. It was a struggle to tell her that a college degree/career wasn't what I wanted after all. When I finally told her, she wasn't thrilled, but at least all of the cards were out on the table, so to speak. She still encouraged me to continue pursuing my English degree at my local university, so I'm still there, with only one year to go. Life is SO much better now that she knows my heart's desire, though.

Anna S said...

Thank you for your comments!

Buffy - good to 'see' you here. I agree with you about trusting God; of course, I can't know how everything will turn out. I know from experience He can make everything beautiful and right, even the most difficult situations. However, I think I still have to try to do the sensible thing. What I mean is: if I believe being a keeper-at-home is the highest calling for a woman, would it make sense to go in a direction that seems only to lead further away from it?

Tracy, I think that the more successful we are in our studies, the more pressure we get towards having a career because it's considered 'a waste'. "But you're so gifted, you could do ANYTHING you want! Why bury your talents?!" - I'm sure it sounds familiar.
Mom, of course, wants the best for me. I don't doubt it for a second. Only we have very different ideas about what that means.

Emily - yes, I have tried talking about it, of course. I told her I pray for a husband and family, and that even if I never have that, I can't be another man in a men's world. Yet I'm afraid she's beyond understanding that. She has been alone all her life, and even though she may not notice it, she's very masculinized in both appearance and behavior. She says I must be independent and take care of myself. I told her I will HAVE to do that, of course, since there's no man to take care of us, but that only got her tearing her hair out over my 'lack of ambition'.

Jordin - I'm very happy things worked out for you. Don't forget, however, that you're about to get married already, and your future husband approves of your being a keeper-at-home. I don't even have the prospect of marriage in the near future, and that makes resisting the 'reasonable' arguments very hard.

Sheri said...

Anna, I so admire your passion to serve the Lord by serving your mother at home now and by becoming “a keeper at home” as a wife in the future (if that’s our Father’s will). For most young ladies your age, that isn’t even a consideration, must less a passion.

First, I will be praying for you. Praying that through the Holy Spirit’s leading and God’s Word, that you will find the answers he has for you at this time. Remember, our Heavenly Father sees the bigger picture and may be using your mother (even as a non-believer) to put you in exactly the place God wants you for now. What specific “higher degree” does she want you to attain?

Secondly, I’m in much the same boat as Tracy. Two weeks after I graduated from high school (with a 4.0), I went on a year speaking ministry throughout my home state. (as Miss Iowa). I had been dual enrolled in college and high school at the same time, but hadn’t finished my degree at this point. Then, I met my husband! With his career and the calling God had placed on his life, I couldn’t work on finishing my degree (nor did I want to). I even had thousands of dollars in scholarship money left over from the pageant (that had to be used within a year time frame or put into a savings bond for less than half of the scholarships value). God CLEARLY told me that my desires needed to be my husband, future children, and home. Very counter-culture… I wholeheartedly accepted God’s best and am so thankful I did!

I still have people ask me often what I’m going to do when my kids go to school (which is funny because we plan to home school) or why I’m not diligently finishing up that degree I was working on before I met “my hero.” I’m not ashamed of my choice and am daily learning what an honor it is to be “a keeper at home” and how God’s way truly is the BEST, MOST EXCELLENT way!

I say all of this to encourage you to stay strong my sister in the Lord! Keep seeking your Father’s heart for your life, be patient, and watch him work.

Candy said...

Im not sure what to tell you. I feel your pressure though on not quite knowing what to do, so I will remember you in prayer about this. I do belive that God will clear direction one way or the other. He always comes through for us..not always in our timing :) but in His timing. He will open or shut the door, keep seeking Him. God WILL give you the answer. I firmly believe that.
Love lots,

Anonymous said...

I can understand how you're struggling with this and I have 2 questions.

1. Would continuing your education require you to go into debt? If so, that could obviously make it more difficult to be a KAH, if your (future) husband's salary couldn't cover your loan payments. If your education was paid for and provided a living stipend that wouldn't be so bad.

2. Are you being pressured into a particular type of higher education? If you have to get a higher education and want to meet a husband, maybe something like a Master's of Christian Education at a Bible-believing college could kill two birds with one stone. Of course, private colleges are expensive so, depending on your circumstances, this might go against question 1. Also, it might not satisfy your family as it is not exactly the path to a high-paying career.

Anna S said...

Thank you, Sheri, Candy and Elizabeth!

Sheri - thank you for your encouragement. Mom wants me to continue working towards a higher degree in nutrition (I'm about to graduate with a BSc in nutrition right now). I do hope to find some way around it, but if she insists, I will obey and trust God.

Candy - I agree with you 100%. My anxiety about this isn't because of lack of trust in God, but rather uncertainty of what I should do in this situation to please Him.

Elizabeth - welcome to my blog. Regarding your questions:

1. I wouldn't go into debt, as my mother offered to pay for my degree, and I also have some savings. Debt is something I avoid like a plague; I understand that if I want to be a keeper-at-home, I must manage my finances wisely.

2. As I said earlier, I'm pressured to continue in the field of nutrition or maybe biochemistry, and yes, it's supposed to be very practical.

...I will continue praying about it.

Bethanie said...

I was sort of in this situation not long ago. My mother wanted me to go to college more than anything, and I did go.
I'll repost what I've written about it before.

Anna S said...

I'll check out your blog.

WaysofZion said...

Hi Anna,

I've read your blog for a while now and finally desided to comment. I went through this very thing 7 years ago. My mother was pressuring me to continue and she even sent in the application forms to 8 different university/colleges. When I was excepted to one with scholarship she simply expected me to go. I had to stand my ground and explain my feelings and beliefs. It was hard for her because she has had a difficult life and had just gone through a terrible marriage and divorce. It helped that I had a full time job at the time and could show her that IF I needed too I could be selfsufficent even if at a lower living standard.

Soon after i was blessed in that the relationship I was in with a godly man blossomed and we were engaged.

I am happy to say that my full time job is my dream job, changing diapers and keeping a home is wonderful and the perfect job, which you do not need a degree for!

I hope that things go easier for you!

Anna S said...

Ways of Zion,
I'm glad things worked out so wonderfully for you. God is good.

James said...


You raise an interesting question here about whether to go for another degree. Let me share some thoughts.

First of all, I commend you on your dedication to the domestic life. Of course, the hearth is the domestic church. Thus by sanctifying our homes, we exercise the priesthood of the lay faithful and share in the ministry of Jesus Christ.

I would add that I have enjoyed reading your blog- it is quite something to see all the recipies with pictures.

As to whether to go on to another degree, you have to ask yourself some questions.

This is not at straightforward as you might think. If it involves going back to your old school to do more biological/chemical work, I would not recommend it. It's important to leave an institution after graduation.

If getting the masters' is primarily ordered towards getting a higher paying job and making money, you have to think of it carefully. However, even if you start going out with someone within the next year, you have to wait at least six months to get married, you could probably complete the degree.

It's important that you understand what it's like to have a full-time job and be responsible before you get married. So don't dismiss this piece.

However, as to the masters, I would ask you why get it in nutrition? Just because that's the degree you currently have doesn't mean that you have to do that for grad school?

Keep in mind that all action is to be ordered towards the salvation of souls. Thus, education is a component of formation. Have you considered doing either philosophy or theology for grad school?

See, the other piece of this is this. A man is going to want to marry a woman committed to the domestic life, but most men also want to marry women with similar educational levels. One of the most important aspect of marriage is that your husband or wife is someone you can talk to. If folks aren't on the same wavelength, this is much harder.

It seems that you raise a few issues. The first is "what if I do this and then quit to become a mother? Will I be seen as a failure?"

The answer is no— you make decisions on the basis of present condition, not past or future. Also why should you care what "they" look negatively on it? Ultimately, any future pressure will be external not internal.

To what extent will grad work tie me into a career?

No more than you allow yourself to be tied in. If you take a job that is at will- that you can quit any time, you quit when the time is right, on the basis of those future conditions. Assuming this, the long-term buy-in is minimal, once you get your degree.

What about the anti-Catholicism in colleges? They need you there to be a witness to Him.

I agree the pressure you're under just stinks.

Now as to the degree- if its more nutition you're spot on. If you do a liberal arts degree, it may provide you with some personal formation that might benefit you in marriage. When is your graduation?

Rest assured of my prayers. May God's abundant blessings be with you this Easter season. I remain

Yours in Christ,
James B. from CT
Christus Crecscat!

Anna S said...


Thank you for visiting and commenting. Your opinion is very much appreciated.

Oh, I do know what it's like to work full-time; I did that for a year before starting my degree. And I worked part-time during my degree (still do). Believe me, the concept of being out there in the working world is not foreign to me. That's precisely why I so hope and pray not to be there for the rest of my life.

I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of education. I certainly don't want you to think I'm some sort of a slacker - no person who knows me could say that! I LOVE learning. Learning is one of my greatest passions. However... does it have to be learning = degree? Do I have to put myself in a dangerous environment and pay a large sum of money in order to broaden my education? My knowledge in history, arts, world culture didn't come from college. I speak 4 languages; that didn't come from college either. Or from public school, for that matter. The vast majority of the important things I know, I learned at home, with the dedicated help of my mother.

... That doesn't mean I completely reject the concept of doing Master's degree. I might do that; I only need to make sure I'll be doing it for the right reasons, and that it won't clash with my God-given feminine role.

Alexandra said...

Since you are not married or engaged(?), making an honest living is necessary. I would however, follow your heart. Find something where you can serve others until you are ready to serve a family, your own family. If it means getting a higher degree and you enjoy it, why not? Be yourself, and you'll find someone who loves and honors you, not an ideal.

I think working only becomes a problem AFTER you have children. I enjoyed working, but when the children came, they were my main focus(my vocation), and I came home for them.

Anna S said...

Hi Alexandra,

Glad to see you here; I always enjoy your blog and the many frugal tips I find there!

I agree with you that as things look at the moment, I definitely have to work to make a living. I'm not married yet, and I don't have a father. And yes, I certainly hope that my work will be about serving others.

I'm not rejecting the idea of doing MSc, either. I just have to carefully evaluate all the pros and cons before investing a lot of time, money and energy into it.

However... if God sends me a husband, I don't think I want to work outside the home if I have a season as a married woman without children. Allow me to explain this point.

I believe that if the couple start out with the wife working, the husband learns to count on that second income; the family might acquire more liberal spending habits, get a couple of loans, etc. Then a baby arrives, and the wife wants to come home. And then the family has to make a transition from two people living on two incomes, to three people living on one income. That's HARD, especially if long-term plans were already made for that second income.

The more important reason is that I want to be home first and foremost for my husband. What if God never blesses me with the gift of motherhood? Would that mean I will never serve my husband as a full-time keeper-at-home? What about the season when my children move out? Will I then feel pressure to work outside the home?

Anyway... I think that for the moment, I will try my best to do what's right, and let God take care of the rest.

Alexandra said...

I think about what I will do when the children are grown(and on their own) too. Although I'll be almost 60 by then, ekkk!I'll probably want to do volunteer work and travel, God willing.

Although we both worked before we had children, my husband and I always lived below our means. Both of us are very frugal sorts, so the transition to an one income family was easy. It's helped quite a bit to have similar values.

It's good to think ahead. I think it's wonderful how you think and plan for the future. The old adage about best laid plans is true, but it doesn't hurt to ponder and mull over ideas and possibilities. They may be useful later. It helps to form the framework of your life and defines your direction. Afterall, life is a journey, isn't it? :) How wonderful to be at the beginning of it!

Paula said...

Anna, I think you should read what Edith Stein (St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross) has said about the spirituality of the woman. She saw not contradiction between being a wife and mother and having a job.(She herself had a PhD).

Did you read Mulieris Dignitatem by JPII? Or his letter to women? If not I advice you to do it.

Think also to the following situation: you get married and after a while your husband dies or leaves you. It can happen. How will you be able to earn your bread and raise your kids?

I admire your dedication to your ideas and I hope that you will make a good choice.

Anna S said...


I started writing a reply to your comment but it got so long that I'll publish it as a separate post. Thank you for commenting!

Paula said...

Anna I am glad to exchange ideas with you.
For other people coming from poorer countries than yours (like my country of origin--Romania) stay-at-home is not an option unless one is affluent enough.
The incomes are that small.
I got a PhD not only because I like my profession but also because I had to.

Anna S said...


Did you get the impression I live in some sort of rich country? Not at all. :) Hint: my family comes from Transylvania and I was born in another country in Eastern Europe...

I KNOW what's a small income and I KNOW what it's like to live on one small income (my father has never been in touch with us or helped), and I KNOW what it's like to live without a car, dishwasher, mobile phone, computer and TV.

I'm not rich... and I will probably never be. Yet my dream is to be at home and I'm ready to make every sacrifice so it can happen.

Paula said...

still you will need a husband who will earn enough to support you and your eventual kids.

I do not talk about being rich. I talk about survival: about having enough to eat and few clothes on your back.

For people from poorer country a stay-at-home wife is simply unthinkable.

A husband cannot possibly earn enough to feed modestly his wife and one eventual kid.
Therefore she must also work.
I have been there and done that.

Why I wrote all these? To make you aware that stay-at-home is a matter of economics. For those who never knew real poverty (and not frugality as you put it) maybe difficult to understand.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna,

Just thought I'd add some comments based on my own experience. For background, I'm quite a few years older than you (45). I live in the UK and I suppose I've moved very much in secular circles with people with a similar education level to my own (post-graduate).

What I've noticed over the years is that the men I've known have embraced the idea that they don't have to be soley responsible for breadwinning and rather like it. Some I've known didn't want to marry a woman who expected them to provide all the financial support. I just wonder whether this is a trend in male thinking that needs to be taken into account in your deliberations on the future. Men seem to want to be liberated from traditional roles too.

I wish you well :-)


Anna S said...

To the anonymous commenter: as a matter of fact, I mentioned what you said in my post today (which was a reply to Paula's question). Yes, indeed, some men - sadly - aren't ready to embrace their God-given role of provider and protector.

The question is - do we conform to this trend, or do we try to make a change? I will address this in a future post about masculine leadership. Thank you for commenting.

Anna S said...


I do know what you mean... it just so happens that I was born in a country where the situation is very similar to your home country. I do remember the times when food was hard to come by (both because of money and because stores were empty). I will also address that in future posts.

Paula said...

Anna please do that.
It is very good when a mother can stay at home with the kids.
I wish my mom would had been able to do this.
But this is not an option for all families.
I think people should understand this. Some who promote the stay-at-home style have no clue how hard life can be.
OK, this was all for today. Thanks for having me here.

Anna S said...


It always made me snort when I read tips such as this one for frugal living on one income: "perhaps you should consider giving up on your second vehicle..." - bwahaha... as if we could even afford ONE vehicle...

Yup. Definitely a topic to address.

James said...

As to the whole second vehicle bit- part of this also had to do with the value and cost of the vehicle you own.

If either you or your husband are tech saavy, it is possible to have multiple cars on the cheap. We have a 1984 Toyota Camry, a 1988 Toyota Camry, and a 1999 Chevy Malibu. Both Camrys were bought for prices that were three figures.

My father is fairly technically minded and is able to do much of the routine maintenance himself. Also, if you select a vehicle that is very affordable to operate- good for maintenance- high gas mileage, you can achieve significant savings.

Especially with older cars, before the days of onboard computers, the maintenance is easy to learn.

But this is basic transportation and helps us to live with the humility that God wants us to have.

Now as to the question of getting an additional degree, I would say this. That you're right that knowledge ≠ a degree. However, there are some subjects that it is difficult to learn outside the university. I agree that literature, history, art, and music can be self-taught.

It is almost impossible to self-teach philosophy, however. But if you do philosophy, you should go to a good Catholic school.

I guess the point that I'm making here is that getting a degree helps you to accumulate spiritual goods. However it also sets you up for your future- in this day and age one needs to have the masters. You cannot make decisions predicated on a future that is less than certain. You may find your husband to be in the next two years, it may take you ten years, or God may clarify that the call you now perceive as a call to marriage is actually a call to religious life. You don't know what's going to happen.

So here's what I advise you. Take a year off to recover from college and work. Then start graduate school. After a year off you will want it.

What university have you been going to? Can you go anywhere else reputable for the master's. Usually they advise to switch schools after undergrad, unless there's something particular that you want to mine from your program.

As to the issue of becoming dependent on two incomes— I do think that you are selling your future husband short, here. Your future husband should be a man who is a good steward of temporal goods. At the beginning of my parents marriage, they did not live on a dual income. My mother's salary was direct-deposited into a separate bank account. This gave them the money necessary to make a significant down-payment on the house. When I was born, my mom stopped working and didn't even start working part-time again, until I was 10. If you fear that there may be dual-income dependency if you marry a man, it is probably a good sign that he is not someone to marry. You must trust in God's providence.

The key to all of this is ownership of as little real property as possible. This is part of how the devout layman lives the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

I hope you are well; know you have my prayers.

James B. in CT

Anna S said...

Hi James,

As a matter of fact, I think I've already decided on the same plan you suggested - taking a year off school and working. It will help me think more of all the pros and cons, understand if a higher degree is really needed, or I can do without it, and how much it can contribute. Thanks!

Paula said...

James said:
Your future husband should be a man who is a good steward of temporal goods.

And if he is not? What if Anna falls in love with the beautiful soul of man who is hard-working but impractical? A poor man?
Prefect love casts away the mathematics.

Anna S said...


You raise a good point. It's true that I'm not after men who have a lot of money.

This is precisely why I'm learning to be a wise steward of small finances - so I can help my husband plan the family budget and stretch every penny. Not as overriding his authority, but as a helpmeet.

Paula said...

James said:
If you fear that there may be dual-income dependency if you marry a man, it is probably a good sign that he is not someone to marry.

And if Anna loves him really? Love is not a good reason to marry?
St Ignatius of Loyola said: Teach us O Lord to give without counting the costs...

Paula said...

Anna, may God protect you.

Anna S said...


My personal conviction (you may disagree, and it's really off the topic but I still want to clarify) is that true love only grows after marriage, while before marriage we should evaluate the qualities of a potential spouse, and develop trust and affection.

I can't trust a man who isn't willing to provide for his family, and therefore I will not marry such a man. I pray and ask God daily to protect me from infatuation ("falling in love"), which I already experienced once and which, indeed, could have led to me marrying an absolutely unsuitable person.

Paula said...

OK, I understand all now.

Paula said...

as I said I won´t visit very soon...I did not talked about infatuation, about "falling in love".I talked about Agape.
I was referring to the soul and the character of a man. These should be enough in making him suitable to be a good husband.

Lean Not said...

I have not read your blog before, but I have just been reading many of your posts and really enjoy them.

I think that you and I are quite a bit alike, both in our focus and in our situations. A little less than a year ago, I was struggling with a similar issue. The Lord has really shown me some neat things, and I would love discussing them with you over the e-mail, both to help you and also to enjoy your fellowship as I am still praying about my own situation. I would rather do it on the e-mail because I don't want to compromise my anonymity by giving too many personal details on the web. :) My address is leannot@gmail.com and I would love to hear from you.

James said...

I just wanted to answer some questions about my earlier comments.

"Your future husband should be a man who is a good steward of temporal goods."

If you read my words carefully, you see that I am not saying to marry someone who has money or is an investment whiz. What I am saying is that a husband should do a good job at managing family money and property, especially the family homestead. They key is to not marry someone who's a spendthrift. The same goes for women. No matter how much I might want to marry her, I could not mary a woman who I knew had problems living within her means and used credit cards to live beyond her means. Ultimately, financial fitness is an important component of the affective maturity that the Church requires for a valid marriage. Ultimately, the issues here are self-control and discipline, not money. Clearly, these virtues are significant.

Anna S said...


I think I understand what you meant and I agree with you completely. I'm not seeking a rich man, but definitely a financially responsible one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
I'm a Christian woman who is pursuing a PhD. I'll graduate next spring with a doctorate! I love school! I love my research! I prayed about whether to continue on in school, and I feel that it is right for me to be doing this.

If my husband and I are blessed with children, I wouldn't hesitate to stay home with them. I don't think that pursuing a higher degree conflicts with that at all. I see your point about the pressure- but a lot of people were surprised that I stayed in school after getting married-- even though I have my husband's full support! Pressure runs both ways.

I would encourage you to do what you think is right after prayerful consideration. If you enjoy learning and would enjoy doing research, try it! If not, don't! It's a very personal decision, and you can always change your mind either way.

There are people in my department who are in school only because of parental pressure, and I don't know how they do it. I think that you have to love it in order to put up with all the work and etc. that comes with graduate school.

I will keep you in my prayers as you make this decision.


Pastor Laura said...


While I personally find ambitious women to be a fabulous thing, that is just one point of view and not neccesarily the right one.

I suggest that if this is how you feel inside and if this idea of constantly working to pursue a career rather than a life of personal relationships is deeply troubling you, perhaps consider changing your major to something less career oriented but more oriented toward personal learning, growth and enrichment as someone stated above. a liberal arts or humanities major would be a good choice(trust me, that is not a career-oriented degree, I have many friends, male and female both, who graduated with that major and could not find a job to save their lives lol). Perhaps if religion is of interest to you you could major in that as a way of exploring your faith, or if you like to read you could take English or other national Literatures for personal enrichment. Likewise if you are more of a math person you could major in that for personal enrichment. If you are musically gifted perhaps you could investigate this field of study, that is something you can always use in the home, with children, in church, for family etc.

Just some thoughts.

Wishing you well,