What Life is Like Not Going to College

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes:)

Life outside of school is super weird.

I graduated about 9 months ago, and I decided not to go to college. And I just want to be real with you guys this morning, it’s been tough.

I love school. I miss going to class. The FOMO is definitely real when I see my peers living their best lives at college. I’m confident in my decision to skip college, but it doesn’t make it an easy one.

My pace of life has changed drastically.

Senior year of high school, I played soccer, played a part in the musical, took AP classes, went to clubs, worked in retail, and published a freaking book all in the 3 month period of graduating season. That’s insane. And not in the braggy way, but in the unhealthy way. Doing that much all at once was not a healthy way of balancing my time.

But now, I’m just working full-time. I’m just going to church and young adults. I’m just spending time with family and friends. And I’m just working on behind the scenes stuff for my blog, book, and website.

But I’ve realized that word has stolen my joy in this season: just.

The last two years have been quite the harvest. I’ve gotten used to living in a season of plenty.

I’ve been working so hard on my book since I was 12, putting endless hours into it, and it finally paid off when I won an award. And then when I got accepted at Morgan James Publishing. And then when I had my first book signing. And then when I got published.

After a really dark time of my life in high school, I grew really close to God. I got baptized a year and a half ago. My relationship with Jesus keeps getting deeper every day.

For the past two years, I feel like I’ve been harvesting. And it’s been so incredible. Praise God for that!

But after I graduated, published my book, finished soccer, and started a new job (which was a huge harvest season), my season has shifted. I’m no longer in the harvest.

And I’m so used to living in harvest, that when I don’t see a huge victory from my efforts right away I feel like a failure.

Last year, I could sell books easily.

This year, I struggle to sell them. I keep experimenting with new strategies and failing at them.

Last year, my blogs were booming.

This year, I’m constantly tweaking my website without any immediate improvement. I made a mailing list, but it’s not exactly growing as fast as I hoped it would. Social media is a game I’m not very good at playing.

I feel like I’ve been planting all these seeds the last 9 months, expecting whole trees to jump out of the ground as soon as I water them. And when they don’t, I feel like a total failure.

But that’s the thing: I’m not in Autumn anymore. I think maybe I’m in a sort of Spring right now.

Above, I said that word just has stolen my joy. Because my victories, compared to the ones I had last year, seem pretty small. It’s like comparing a gold medal to a participation award. My life the last 9 months feels like a participation award hahahaha.

But my season has changed. And if I hold myself to the same standard of Autumn while I live in Spring, no accomplishment will be enough.

All the things I’m “just” doing right now are seeds. And it’s hard to faithfully plant them because nobody sees that. It’s not glamorous. I have to get my hands dirty and water the dumb things every day.

But when I get discouraged, God reminds me of Luke 16:10 ~ “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Being faithful in the little things is just as important as the big things.

I read Ecclesiastes 3 last week, and it reminded me it’s okay when seasons change. I encourage you to read it slowly and really think about it:

“There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

So yes, life outside of college is discouraging sometimes. In fact, it’s terrifying. Am I doing enough? Did I make the right decision?

But the Spring doesn’t always feel awesome. It’s usually pretty cold, and pretty wet, and pretty windy. My seedlings get hammered with hail, scorched by sun, and tossed in the wind.

But the little glimmers of green poking up from the ground remind me: He has made everything beautiful in its time.

If every day was harvest, would I ever learn thankfulness?

So beloved;

Don’t stop being faithful in that little thing you’re doing. If you’re faithful in it, it isn’t little at all.

And if your season doesn’t feel good yet, that’s okay. In Christ, we will see a victory, even if it looks different than what we expect. So take this messy ugly gritty season to plant seeds, your feet on the ground and your heart in heaven.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

“Springtime” by Chris Renzema

Published by Annabelle Healy

Annabelle Healy is 17 and loves to write fantasy novels mostly because high school AP classes and homecoming dances are too stressful. Her novels have received multiple awards including a gold medal from the national Scholastic Art and Writing competitions, placing her beside award alumni such as Stephen King and Truman Capote. She is currently publishing her debut fantasy novel, Far Below Human Eyes with Morgan James Publishing.

6 thoughts on “What Life is Like Not Going to College

  1. I love your insight, Annabelle! It is tough when the “little” things we do seem to go unnoticed, but God uses them, too, and that’s how the “big” things happen! Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Girl yes!!! From graduating in 2020, this is the first thing I’ve seen that puts some of it into words. So encouraging ♥️♥️

  3. Such an encouraging read!! We all go through seasons and the highs and lows life brings, in our own way and at our own pace. We know the FOMO but also recognize the very life we’re living and experiencing – others are missing out on all the same. Thank you for your wisdom and vulnerability!!

    1. This is so true! I tend to forget when I’m feeling FOMO that other people probably feel the same exact thing, which is encouraging to remember. Thank you so much for reading!!

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