Tag Archives: college

Paying a debt not owed

I feel a lot of pressure to do certain things in life.  Let me clarify by saying that these “things” have no moral leaning, but are simply choices that I have.  One of those choices happens to be whether or not I continue my college education to get a degree beyond my current Associate’s degree.  At the moment, I have no such plans to do so, although I am not opposed to getting a higher level degree if I happen to find something that interests me enough to spend several thousand dollars and a few years of stress accomplishing it.

I was once taught that, because I am intelligent, I have an obligation both to God and the world around me to finish college and even graduate school.  I believed this for some time and it put me under an immense amount of stress because, truth be told, I don’t enjoy school and I was completely unsure of what I wanted as far as a career was concerned.  This led to years of entering college and dropping out.  Over and over again, I would go for a few months before dropping everything, assuring my parents that I was just taking a semester break to get things in order.  It wasn’t until about eighteen months ago that I realized how miserable I was going to school for a degree I didn’t want.  I dropped my schooling indefinitely and have yet to return.

This decision was one that still haunts me, but not because I think I made the wrong move; more because there’s still a part of me that believes that I owe it to someone, somewhere to finish a degree and get a job as an executive somewhere or something.  Despite the fact that this career path sounds dreadful to me, I feel obligated to follow it for my own success (whatever that means) and because they (whoever they are) expect it.

I was thinking about this today, and I suddenly realized: I don’t owe anything to anyone here on earth.  The only one I owe anything to is God, and I can’t even pay what I owe there.  Christ’s sacrifice and God’s grace and providence have allowed payment to be made for my sinful, wretched self, but as far as paying what I owe…I can’t.

And, beyond that debt, I don’t owe anyone anything.  I want to make God-honoring decisions, and I will do my best to do so.  But, I don’t want to make decisions based on a feeling of obligation I have to the world.  That just seems backwards to me.

Do you ever feel like you have to do something that has no moral or ethical bearing simply because someone else wants you to? What are your thoughts on that sort of situation?


Dear People Sitting Next to Me in the Coffee Shop

Dear People Sitting Next to Me in the Coffee Shop,

First of all, Calculus Student, the phrase, “The person with the highest grade in the class gets a uhhundred,” kind of makes my brain hurt. It’s one hundred or a hundred. Not uhhundred.

To the Study Buddy of the Calculus Student, I find it hard to believe that the idea of curving a grade is so incredibly foreign to you. Maybe you haven’t had professors who have used the blessed grade curve, and if that’s the case, I have to say, you’re missing out. Get new professors, ASAP.

And you, Lady Who Wants to Lose Sixty Pounds in Twelve Weeks, you just admitted that losing more than two to three pounds a week is unhealthy. Also, it’s not realistic. The less you weigh, the harder it is to lose weight because your body burns fewer calories with every pound lost. I encourage you to keep up the hard work, but know that it won’t always result in the exact numbers you’re looking for.

Also, Man Sitting With the Lady Who Wants to Lose Sixty Pounds in Twelve Weeks, you may have lost more than three pounds a week when you were sick, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. Also, the boxers you know who lost ten pounds in a day were likely just flushing water weight. Encouraging someone to have a goal like that is insane.

I’m sure you guys hardly care, and I obviously can’t give my two cents in person. But these conversations were bothering me.

I hope you are comforted in knowing that I do in fact listen to all of you. Thank you for your time.


Dear Parents Who Refuse to Teach Their Boys How to Cook and Clean

Dear Parents Who Refuse to Teach Their Boys How to Cook and Clean,

I realize that you are working under the completely false security that your son will be mothered and nurtured at college somehow and then married off to the next Martha Stewart (minus the jail time).  But, in reality, you’re just setting your son, and possibly his future wife up for failure.

Let me first make clear the fact that I hold to a traditional view of family.  If I ever get married, I plan to stay at home with my children, nurture and teach them, and keep the house from being a pit of filthy despair by cleaning and such.  I don’t think that roles should be reversed in a family, and I do believe that both the husband and wife roles in a marriage are unique to them for a reason.

However, your sons still need to know how to operate at a basic human level of cleanliness and health.

Why? Well, because, first and foremost, there will likely be time between the day he leaves your house and the day he gets married; also, because his wife may not have been taught very well and may need some help; because his wife could get mono or be put on bed-rest or break all of her limbs in a freak accident involving a marmoset and a bulldozer and might be unable to vacuum or cook dinner for awhile.

But, also because we truly don’t know the future.  Many of us assume that marriage is a default setting, but not everyone gets married.  And not everyone gets married young.  Your son could get married for the first time when he’d sixty.  He could be single all his life.  He needs to be able to keep the filth in his house at bay and cook a week’s worth of meals for himself.

Do you really want your son eating off the McDonald’s dollar menu for forty years? Do you?!

In addition to being able to operate at a normal, functional, clean and healthy level, there is an added bonus to this.  You know those poor, misguided girls who like to mother their boyfriends/fiances/husbands?  They mainly do it because the boys in their lives haven’t been taught how to fend for themselves.  Seriously.  As females, we like to nurture, and when we see a boy at college who hasn’t eaten a proper meal in months and isn’t sure where the button to operate the Swiffer WetJet is, we think, “Oh, you poor thing.  Let me make you spaghetti and brownies and clean that for you.”

Yeah, I don’t know why we do this, but it happens.  And then the natural inclination is to treat the boy in question like a child in many ways.

So, those girls…the ones who have to mother their husbands…they are annoying, right?  They would make horrid daughters-in-law, yeah?  Well, you know how to make sure one of them doesn’t marry your son?

Make sure he can actually live on his own for a few weeks without resorting to eating chili fries for multiple meals in a day.  That way, she’ll have nothing to mother.



Dear Vending Machine in the Math and Science Building

Dear Vending Machine in the Math and Science Building,

You fiend.

After months of hard, back-breaking, tongue-searing work, I have finally instilled a Pavlovian response in myself that causes me to crave sour candy every time I begin my trek from the Modern Languages building to the Math and Science building.  This has been difficult, as I have had to eat Sour Patch Kids or Sour Jacks in nearly every Statistics class period in order to achieve this outcome.  Had I not been so dedicated to this cause, I certainly wouldn’t have had a true Pavlovian response (minus the drooling).  My dedication has truly been inspiring to my peers and sour candy eaters everywhere.

But you, you conniving, horrible villain…You have ruined me.  Basically, as soon as I had developed this response, you stopped carrying sour candy.  Gone are your plastic-encased, citric-acid-coated wonders.  Gone are my dreams of  a headshot in the Pavlovian Hall of Fame.  My hopes and cravings for delicious, chewy Sour Patch Kids (and delicious, chewy success) are disappointed day after day.  My Pavlovian response weakens every time you fail to have the proper candy, keeping me from reaching my goals.

I just hope you realize the magnitude of what you have done.  I will not be speaking with you until you rectify the situation.



P.S. No, Swedish Fish are not an acceptable replacement.