Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thinking about College

I promised to do a post about this back in December, but I became quite busy and was unable to do so. I'm glad I finally found the time to write this post (even if the time is 10:30 pm...).

Being a Junior, I've had to face a subject I've tried to avoid for years. College. Why have I tried to avoid it? Other than the obvious "I'm too young to think about it!" reasoning, there has been something else bothering me about it.

Writers have very limited college majors to chose from...especially someone like me. I am NOT interested in teaching, reporting, journalism, accounting, editing, publishing, science writing, or most other jobs attributed to an English major. I want to write novels, screenplays, homeschool curriculum, poems, and short stories. That's it.

It is difficult to make a steady income from novel writing unless you make it big like J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. A college degree in creative writing does very little to change that. Publishers don't really care if you have a college degree or not, they only care if your writing can make them money and if you have an agent. You might raise your chances of getting an agent by having a degree in creative writing, but not significantly. All in all, a college degree in Creative Writing seems a bit ridiculous.

After learning all of this, I grew very upset. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I really wanted to go to college, mostly for the "college experience", though I never would have admitted that at the time. It seemed so petty and...normal. However, I couldn't deny the fact that my chances of pursuing writing were better by not going to college.

But then what? I certainly didn't want my life to be limited. If I chose not to go to college, especially in this economy, it seemed like I would be doomed to a life of working at a fast food restaurant during the day, come home to a tiny apartment by myself, write, work on my own marketing, go to sleep, and do the entire thing over again. That thought alone frightened me. I want to see and do everything I can possibly see and do in my life. I want to go places. I want to learn new things. I love learning.

I began to consider other possible options, but nothing could make me passionate. In fact, simply thinking about other possible jobs like teaching or journalism made me get very angry and sad. I don't want to do that. I started to get frustrated and upset.

During quiet time one day, I read Matthew 6: 25-27. "25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

I realized I had been worrying far too much. Isn't life more than money? And isn't life more than a good job, a good house, a good income, and a good 'success'? God made me remember a truth I had sadly forgotten. Life is not supposed to be mundane. Life is an adventure! His adventure. God has plans for everyone, including myself, and I have to let go of my worries and presuppositions to discover what He has planned for me. I know my main purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, and I also know that I feel most comfortable glorifying God through my writing. Why would I stop writing for him simply because it is 'unpredictable'? Why would I make writing a hobby-which for me would be the equivalent of making glorying God a 'hobby'? 

I began looking at Creative Writing again. Then, NC State had an Open House for high school students. My parents and I attended...and it was absolutely incredible. I had already been to NC State for two weeks at a writer workshop, but I only got to see two buildings during that time and I did  not learn anything about their majors or minors during the workshop (which was AMAZING). The campus is absolutely beautiful and it is exactly the "feel" I love. I love the downtown city atmosphere, I love that it is in North Carolina, I love that there is a variety of students who attend the school. (Lots of agriculture and biology, engineers, veterinarians....)

NC State also has a major called 'English concentration on Creative Writing'. The major is a Creative Writing major...and the elective hours that come with it are enough for two minors. I had not even thought of minors yet. Not only that, but NC State encourages students to do at least a semester overseas, which I would love to do, and the place they encourage English students to go is exactly the countries I have always dreamed of visiting- the UK!

It all seemed a bit too perfect. I am praying about it, and I have not received a 'no' from God yet, but I can't say it is a definite yes yet. Meanwhile, I'm working as hard as I can on my school, especially the math, so I can have a high enough SAT and ACT score along with a good high school transcript.

To sum things up, I'm still not sure of what I am going to do for college. I think it is interesting that once I let go of my worries, NC State came to the forefront. It has been suggested by some college advisers I've been to (not ones affiliated with any college. They simply help students determine the right college for him or her) that I should go to a school with an extremely rigorous academic program. NC State has a moderately rigorous (rated 75 out of 100. The advisers were suggesting I go to a 90 or above) program. Which, actually, is a plus for me. I would be learning and discovering new things, but I would still have time to write.

Maybe I'm biased and I am looking at NC State with rose-colored glasses. But I have never been so passionate about any other college. Oh yeah, did I mention that my church is opening a new campus this year within walking distance of NC State dorms??? Yeah. How awesome is that?!

If I do attend NC State, I would like to get my major in Creative Writing and a minor in Marketing. I haven't decided on the other minor- possibly Film & Arts or Cinematography. If I end up working a low-paying job, who cares? God will take care of me and it's not like I'll starve. I might have to go without super fancy clothes and cars, but I think I can handle that. College is an entire four years. A lot can happen in four years.

I think God designed people to have different comfort zones and different trials. For me, I'm a planner and I like knowing exactly what will happen and when it will happen. God is making my future a bit unpredictable so I will have to rely on Him and not my own strength. Maybe there is someone out there who loves taking risks, and perhaps God is making him or her sit down and make a plan.

I don't know what is in my future. But it's gonna be epic! :)


  1. I think you're awesome. :)

    And I know that God will lead you to the right decision for your next steps in this adventure he's given you. (I have heard many excellent things about NC State's Creative Writing program, by the way - and that the school is far more "Christian friendly" than others...)

    The "dream" job isn't always the highest paying one - and that's okay. I got to work at my "dream" job for 2.5 years, and I can honestly say that 1) it was the smallest amount of money I've ever had and 2) it was the absolute most fun and most rewarding couple of years of my entire life (until Leiana was born...) :)

    1. Thank you so much! ^_^

      Oh yes, the program itself is very well-done and interesting. (They have a class on 'Fantasy' and a class on 'Writing for Adolescents' in their writing program! *Squeal*)

      It does seem more 'Christian friendly' than a lot of others I have looked at. I think it's probably because there are a lot of different majors that hold equal weight, it has a good Campus Crusade, and they are not as liberal as many other colleges. It's still a public college though, but that's a good witnessing opportunity, right? :)

      Was teaching your dream job? Judging from your epic talk at Honor Society, I'd bet you were like, the coolest teacher ever! ;)

    2. Yes, it is a good witnessing opportunity (and a ton cheaper than a Christian college - not that that's the end-all, be-all of choosing a college...) :)

      Yeah - teaching was my dream job (actually, getting to teach at the high school I went to was my dream - and I got to do that for a semester, which was awesome!) and then at King's Academy for 2 years.

      Aww, thanks :) I really enjoyed teaching and my students seemed not to mind listening to me teach... so that was fun. (And I really loved coming to speak at the Honor Society, that was SO MUCH FUN!)

      I was one who struggled a bit with the "what is your passion" question. Speakers would always come talk about "pursuing your passion" or "following your passion" and I always walked away from those chapels wondering why they never talked about HOW to FIND your passion. I knew I wanted to teach, and that I liked writing, but wasn't sure they were my Passion, per se.

      I think that happens sometimes when a person has more than one passion... we flounder a bit, believing that if it isn't one all-consuming thing, then it must not be the thing we're truly meant to do. At least, that's how it was for me. For me, my passions are three-fold: teaching, writing, and my family.

      And even though I didn't know that 12 years ago when I started college (how has it been that long?) God worked it out so that I got to not only achieve the dream of teaching at my old high school, but also so that I got time to pursue each of those passions separately (teaching for 2-3 years, spent a year solely on writing, spent a year solely on being a mom) and now that Leiana's in Kindergarten, I get to pursue all three together (and so far, that's been the absolute best experience ever)! :)

      So... sometimes your course isn't laid out in a linear fashion... but God's ways and paths for your life will be the best, even if they don't always seem to be leading you where you expected. :) Praying for you as you approach this momentous decision and milestone!

      See you Saturday!!!! :)

  2. I'll be praying that you get your answer soon. Love reading your blog! :)

    1. Thank you so much Rebekah! I really appreciate it. I'm glad you like my blog! :)

  3. Your story is so similar to mine. One thing God is teaching me is to put aside my worry and trust him. It takes time for me to learn, I will admit, but I am feeling less frantic about the future now.

    1. That's great! Yeah, it's been a rather hard lesson for me to learn, and I don't think I am completely through it yet. I love how God slowly and gently, but firmly, helps His children grow and trust in Him. :)

  4. I know how you feel, trying to decide between a money-making major and a fun one. I like what you said that God gently, but firmly leads us to walk in His will and trust Him more and more.

    I’m working on choosing my major as well. (mild panic attack). Here’s to the to-be college students.

    Ruth Newton