I received a very inspiring reply to a post I wrote a while ago, and since it was sent to the comments thread, I hope the young lady who wrote won't mind me publishing it in a separate post to share with you all.
"My name is Machelle, I'm 18 years old and currently (miserably) attend college as an art major. Why? Because, as I'm sure you know, I was told all throughout school that you will fail at life if you don't go to college.
God gave me a contradictory gift; although I'm nearly legally blind, I can draw and paint. He blessed me with the gift to record the world, either the real one or the images He graces through my imagination, realistically and almost effortlessly. And so my friends and family all told me I must go to college, get my Master's in art, and become a world famous artist, and for a while, I liked the idea. My work was (is) selling, I was humbly blessed with honors and awards for my work, and when I earned a full-ride to college for my portfolio, I was overjoyed.
But college life, in a nutshell, is torture. My teachers make me cry, the counselors are unhelpful. My art teacher even went so far as to insist I am "a modern liberated woman!" and didn't need anyones help, despite the fact that I was currently making a fool of myself in front of the whole class by being unable to loosen the bolts on my easle. I'm quitting after the next semester is over, and most of my extended family is devastated. "But you're so talented!" they tell me, and ask what I'm going to do all day, clean?
Sure, happily. And cook, and bring out my sewing again. Learn to make my grandmother's noodles and and glace. All sorts of more useful skills than sitting through a two-hour lecture on the different ways to draw a line (yes, that actually WAS a class!)
My family is sad because they think I'm wasting my talents, but I fear they don't realize that God gave me an even greater blessing; a smart mind with which I made the decision to be homeward bound. He gave me the desire for family, the intelligence to look over the lies of feminism. And he gifted me with the compensation for hindering my eyesight. I can't drive, and could not get a job if, God forbid, my future husband and I ever fell on hard times. If it ever did get to the point where, for whatever reason, we needed a few extra dollars, drawing portraits is something I could do in the evenings, quickly and joyfully, to help my family through life's rough patches. I've always loved art, but I want my finest masterpiece to be my home!"
This dear young girl's testimony isn't only encouraging in its boldness; it's informative. It's a perfect example of today's prevalent attitude. When a young lady exhibits a certain talent, be it in music, arts, science, or anything really, she is told, "How wonderful! You should develop this," - and should I even mention that when talking about developing and promoting a young lady's talents, people rarely mean anything that might also prepare her as a future wife and mother.
(Then there's also, inevitably, the argument of, "but she's so young, who knows, she might never get married at all" - saying this is, in most cases, out of touch with reality, because most women do get married. If a young woman feels she will be inclined to get married at some point in her life, she must prepare to the duties of a wife with all seriousness.)
One must also wonder about college itself. Some people report that they had wonderful college experience, both in terms of education and in the dominating moral environment they found on campus. However, others - after finishing, with relief, a dozen boring years of institutionalized schooling - find themselves yet again in a class where they are spoon-fed mostly useless information. Others soon realize it's pointless to cram your short-term memory with disconnected facts, then spit them out during an examination. And some feel their emotional, spiritual, and even physical well-being is endangered by the so-called "carefree college life".
Of course, if one plans to become an engineer, a doctor, or a researcher in the field of molecular biology, the college path is probably inevitable. But a young lady who is home-drawn, whose primary goals are to become a wife and mother, might eventually realize that she has an option to continue her education and pursue her talents - from home. And it's a shame this option is so rarely mentioned.
Furthermore, not even every young man must have a college education. Some become independent professionals, after an apprenticeship. Others have talents that can be developed not only through sitting in class, listening to lectures, and paying a whole lot of money for it each year. We are just so strongly programmed to think that college equals success, or rather, that no college equals failure; that we cannot be successful professionals, or even accomplished adults, without four years spent on campus and a diploma adorning our wall.
College education is often ridiculously expensive - and takes years, during which we are supposed to put our life on hold, and delay marriage, family, and the real responsibilities that come with it. Many people find themselves later on working in a completely different field, while still carrying the burden of student loans. In my humble opinion, it's time to think outside the box and - no, not dismiss the college option in the first place - but to see whether there are more creative, more effective, more practical and less expensive ways to educate ourselves.