By Natalie, Editress of Visionary Womanhood
Today I’d like to introduce you to a newly released book, Chucking College by Melanie Ellison. You’ll get three things: first you’ll get an overview of what this book has to offer; next I’ll share a few of my favorite college chucking quotes; and finally I’ll tell you how our family has approached the college issue (so far) with our two oldest children – both sons.
Chucking College: Special Features
1. A detailed and documented treatise on WHY one might be motivated to chuck college.
Melanie did a great job at laying out some pretty convincing reasons to chuck college. She has done quite a bit of research on our behalf, and she presents historical facts, statistics, experimental data, real life stories, and just simple, straight forward logic to make her case. The first four chapters focus on:
- The spiritual damage done through false philosophies that malign God and His Word.
- The potential moral damage that can happen when young people live together in dormitories and are exposed to immorality, drunkenness, and other kinds of foolish, sinful behaviors.
- The academic damage that comes when students waste several years of their lives learning things that aren’t even rooted in reality and will have no bearing on their life purpose.
- The financial pit that college throws most students into, leaving them to live out many years of their lives in debt for a degree that often has nothing to do with the life work they ultimately engage in.
2. Real life testimonies highlighted and sprinkled throughout the book.
Her ideas aren’t new, and they aren’t untested. Throughout the book the reader gets to hear all kinds of real life stories of both men and women who have chosen to prepare for their life’s vocation in other ways. Their stories give ideas, inspiration, courage, and hope as they help the reader realize that they are not tied down to the choices others may pressure them to make. There are as many paths to a successful life as there are people to chart them.
3. An alternative educational pathway is presented.
Melanie devotes a chapter to talking about what a quality education was, historically, and what it can be today. And guess what? While an excellent education is important and something to pursue, college is not necessary. And there are people who specialize in education who are starting to realize how outdated and irrelevant college really is in the 21st century, unless one is going into a field like engineering or medicine.
Melanie writes about all kinds if different ways to acquire the knowledge and learn the skills necessary to do what a person dreams of doing. Only the sky is the limit!
4. An alternative entrepreneurial pathway is presented.
Some young people will want to dive right into entrepreneurial ventures right after high school. And why not? This is probably one of the most ideal times to experiment with this type of thing. There is very real potential to get to the end of the first four years after high school with a thriving business and a new home—as opposed to being $80,000 in debt with no job on the horizon.
5. Great list of resources at the end.
Want to learn more? She’s got you covered. And you’ll LOVE the long list of well known, successful people who chucked college.
Some Noteworthy Quotes to Inspire College Chucking
On wise investments:
Biblical apologist and science educator Christopher Ashcraft thinks that “Unfortunately, as Christians we too quickly become of the world and start doing things the way of the secular culture. And that is also the case with education. We have adopted the purposes of education as defined by our society.” Our society encourages young people to attend college in order to gain worldly knowledge, indulge in immoral experimentation, and eventually acquire material wealth as a result of having a degree. But the wisest man in the world told us, “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord.” (Proverbs 21:30) Any education that runs in contrary channels to the Lord’s highest pathways is not worth our investment of time, thought, and money.
On the university vs. Psalm 1:
It is very revealing to apply Psalm 1 to the university setting in order to discover what God thinks of participating in college. Think about a typical college student as you read it and consider whether or not she is the one this passage refers to as blessed:
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers.
Are you surprised at how opposite this is to the life of college students? College offers the counsel of wicked professors who earnestly desire students to adhere to their liberal teaching; the unavoidable necessity of standing in the way of immoral acquaintances – sinners, really; and finding oneself sitting in the seat of mockers, constantly having to hear the speech of those who do not fear the Creator.
On degrees vs. skill:
When we really think it over, a degree may not be necessary to equip us for each of our life purposes. Many college graduates discover (after the fact) that a degree was not a prerequisite for their success….
Skill is what is most sought-after – a well-performed audition will land a musician a job in a symphony orchestra, while a degree in music performance alone will not guarantee the position. Or, for the would-be English major, a well-written essay with a resume listing all the instances where her works have been published carries more weight in a job application than a college degree with no work experience accompanying it.
In a great majority of cases, possessing skills can carry one farther than having earned a degree. Proverbs 22:29 does not mention the need for a university degree, but rather states, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.”
Our Family’s View of College and Why We’ve Chucked it Thus Far With No Regrets
Our oldest son will be 20 this year. He finished up his high school requirements when he was 16. He started taking CLEP tests when he was 14 and spent his Jr. and Sr. years taking college courses in an area he was interested in at a local tech college. He started his own media and video design business, Dual Digital (check out his multimedia and VFX reel), when he was 18, and he works full time in our home doing free lance design for individuals and larger companies.
He shares an office in our home with his 17-year-old brother, who is almost finished with his high school requirements and will be taking audio production classes in a local tech college that is well known for this program in Minnesota. (High school students can go to college for free in our state during their Jr. and Sr. high years. Very few students take advantage of this opportunity though—because it is “no fun.”)
They look forward to potentially working together on projects for clients. Neither one has any intentions of sinking money into school at this point. They both read books and do research online when they want to know about something or find out how to do something. Sam just flew down to Florida and bought his first car with cash. He is saving to buy a house.
So is chucking college weird? Maybe. Is chucking college for everyone? Maybe not. But it’s working for us, and we plan to take it one child at a time.
Would you like to win a copy of Chucking College? Here’s how to enter the giveaway:
UPDATE: Congratulations Jennifer! You are the drawing winner!
1. Leave a comment letting us know what YOU think about the idea of chucking college.
2. Tweet the giveaway (use the share buttons at the bottom of the post.) Make sure you leave a comment letting us know you did! (Each comment counts as an entry!)
3. Share the giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment.
4. Pin this post to a Pinterest board and leave a comment.
For those of you who can’t wait til the giveaway finishes to get your hands on this helpful resource, go ahead and order the book from www.chuckingcollege.com. The author has agreed to fully refund your order if you end up being the winner of this giveaway. It’s the best of both worlds—you receive the book now, and you can still enter to have it free!
Thanks for participating!