rebelling against low expectations

I’m Not Ready For College (And That’s Okay)


College is coming.

This thought strikes me rather often. I try to picture myself in a year’s time, but it’s hard to imagine just how drastically everything is going to change.

Now, I’m not saying that change is a bad thing. In fact, I’m excited for the future and what it holds!

It’s simply that I’m also terrified.

I’ve been home schooled my entire life (unless you count kindergarten, which I don’t). The first time I walked the halls of a high school was when I took my ACT — and, I might add, the high school scared me more than the test did!

College, no doubt, will take a lot of getting used to. And I would like to say that I’m ready, but frankly, I’m not.

After all, how does one prepare for such a thing? Will I wake up one morning and realize that I’m ready to face the biggest change in my life? Googling “how to not freak out about college” doesn’t help (believe me, I’ve tried). Thanks to the gap year I’m taking, I have twelve months to prepare, but I don’t know if time will do the trick.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about all of this, and I’ve come to realize what a unique situation this is. No, I’m not discounting the many (many!) people who have gone to college before me.

What I’m saying is that rarely do we have the opportunity to see such a change so well in advance.

For those of us blessed to be able to pursue higher education, we have years to prepare. Years to tell ourselves, “After I graduate, I’m going to college, and I need to be ready.” The more I think about it, the more I am blown away by just how unusual the entire thing is.

After all, how often do we get an advance notice of a huge life change? When family members get sick, we didn’t have years to ready ourselves for it. If we find the need to move to a new place, we rarely have much time to prepare for such a transition.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying going to college is a bad thing. Not at all! The point is, most things in life don’t give us a lot of warning. We have to take things in stride, whether we’re ready or not.

Being prepared is a good thing, but in a way, it’s also overrated. Life loves to take us by surprise, and we like to tell ourselves that we can handle it on our own. Far too often, though, we find that we can’t.

Even if we knew in advance every curve ball that life was going to throw at us, we’d still discover that handling things in our own strength just isn’t enough.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) says this:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

The truth is that we don’t need to be ready for everything. Our own preparedness is not the point. We will face many things in life, and we will be ready for very few of them—but we don’t need to be.

When we trust in God instead of ourselves, He will guide our paths. Certainly, we will still face things we never saw coming, but He will be with us every step of the way.

So in the end? Maybe college, or whatever else you’re facing, isn’t so scary after all! It’s simply another step in the adventure of life. One that we do not face alone.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

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Photo courtesy of Kris Krug and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Christiana Ogletree

is a high school graduate from the deep South. She is a musician and writer at heart, as well as a recovering procrastinator and a future crazy cat lady. Although she's traveled the world, her favorite place will always be home. She is a passionate about her Savior, and that passion overflows into words on her blog.


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  • *Me: sees Christy Ogletree wrote this post* *hurries to go read it* CHRISTY!!!! You submitted a post and didn’t tell me!! 😉 I agree with your assertion – being prepared is good, but overrated. Great job! 🙂

  • I am in the exact same situation as you are, and I am just as scared, trust me lol! I appreciate you sharing these scriptures and encouragement, its nice to know I’m not the only one going through this! 🙂

      • Yes I am, as you can tell by how long it took me to realize you responded to my comment lol! I mean, I read the book sometime ago, but I’m just now getting involved in the only blog thingie! Its super cool! 🙂

      • Yes I am, as you can tell by how long it took me to realize you responded to my comment lol! I mean, I read the book sometime ago, but I’m just now getting involved in the only blog thingie! Its super cool! 🙂

      • Yes I am, as you can tell by how long it took me to realize you responded to my comment lol! I mean, I read the book sometime ago, but I’m just now getting involved in the only blog thingie! Its super cool! 🙂

        • Haha, it’s fine! I’m usually pretty active here, so if you reply to a comment of mine or something, I should get right back to you. 🙂 The exception being that I’m on vacation right now, lol. Anyway, enough babbling. XD It’s great to have you here, Benjamin; hopefully I’ll run into you elsewhere on the site. 🙂 God bless!

  • I am with Lauren S., So excited to see you wrote a post!
    This is so true, speaking as one who has gone off to college. I remember before I left home, I kept hoping something would happen that would prevent me from leaving home, but here I am 3 years later and life is definitely an adventure and I definitely was not “prepared” for everything, but God is good and he gives us grace to take one day at a time and one step at a time, even when the step may seem impossible. 😉

    • Thank you, Hannah, and thanks for the encouragement! I guess that’s simply what life for us as Christians is–taking everything one step, one day at a time, and trusting God through it all. And there’s nothing I’d rather do than go on the journey He has prepared for me! 🙂

  • Christy!!! You submitted a post! Good for you 🙂 And I must say, thank you very much for submitting this article. I can relate to it… a lot. Thanks for being a speaker of the truth as we all embark on our different adventures. Blessings!

  • As somebody who much prefers winging it to preparing :), great article, Christie. There’s something to be said for the cold dependence on God that is necessary when you have no clue what to do next or how you are going to do it, and it’s a feeling you don’t get much in a carefully organized, planned out, and executed life.

    • Well said, Taylor, and thank you! In this particular instance I’m reminded of a inspirational saying–many of which I’m not very fond of, but I like this particular one–“Let go and let God”. There’s so much peace in letting Him take charge of our lives, whether we like to prepare or prefer hitting the ground running. 🙂

  • Oh gosh. I know exactly what your talking about. Same as you I hadn’t been in a school since kindergarten. And this year I started taking a course at the community college at 16. It isn’t exactly the full on college experience, but it’s still a lot and it’s still scary at times, especially being one of the younger students. But I am really enjoying it. 🙂 So, to expanding comfort-zones! 😉

    Thanks for assuring me I’m not the only one.

    • Wow, good for you, Brooke! I’ve met a few people who’ve started community college at a relatively young age. From what they’ve said, it seems difficult but totally worth it. I hope you have an amazing first year, and I’m really glad this article was an encouragement to you! 🙂

  • I love your spirit! I also was homeschooled from 1st grade through graduation, and college has been a huge time of growth, struggle, and triumph for me. I pray that you will keep God close as you move forward. Great article!

  • I thought College was my option but i was not sure what i was going to major in. People tell you GO TO COLLEGE. But i had no clue what i would do in college except study something. I prayed and asked God to guide me in what he wanted me to do. Well God answered my prayers and i am now a dental assistant. i have never gone to college for dental assisting. i only took one class in college and it was in sign language. I am also home schooled.

    • Good point, Natalia! I’m so glad to hear you followed God’s calling, even if it took you on a less traditional path. In part, yes, this article is for those preparing to go to college. However, I was also trying to make the point that, in all things in life (whether it be college or something else), God is with us!
      God bless, and thank you for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  • thank you so much I feel blessed
    This is a struggle that had my face
    but now I have understood that I am not alone in facing this
    god always bless you.. thank you

  • Thank you, words can not express the feeling of relief and the feeling of hope that I am in right now.
    Thank you and Aloha,

  • Oh, such a very very important reminder! Even for someone who is not bound for collage.:) I laughed when you said when you took the ACT “the school scared me more than the test did”. That was sooo me taking the PSAT! Homeschooled all the way through too!
    By His breath, Dorothy Elaine

    • Haha, thankfully we’re definitely not alone, I’ve met many home schoolers with interesting stories of their first time in a school. And I’m so glad I made you laugh! 😀 It was my hope that this article could also encourage those who aren’t headed to college, so I hope that you were able to find some application in it. God bless you! 🙂

By Christiana Ogletree
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →