I feel like a failure because I didn't go to college when I had the chance.


Dear Mr. Hamilton,

I happened to come across your church's web site and decided to write to you in hopes of finding an answer.

For more than year now, I have been struggling to find my calling in this world. I know everyone has a different calling in the world, yet I feel that I haven't found mine yet.

I wasn't able to go to college for various reasons even though I had good grades, but now I feel like a failure for not going. I still, however, harbor the hopes of going in the future. What really gets me is the fact that I missed many opportunities, such as going to a prestigious university, all because of the emotional struggles I experienced during my high school years and the lack of support from my parents. How do I make myself understand that this isn't the end and that there is something else out there for me, even if I don't accomplish all of my goals?

P.S. I want to place God above everything, but I just feel so pressured to be successful.


I suspect the problem is in your definition of "successful."

There is no requirement that anyone attend college. An education helps in getting jobs, but a person can be educated by experience and not need formal schooling. There are plenty of people who have failed after going to prestigious universities. There are many who have done well without any college education.

If what you would like to do requires that you learn more, then go take classes. All that is stopping you is your own drive to accomplish what you want to get done.

But what exactly is successful? Which is better, a high income or a stable, loving home? Which is better, fame or a godly life?

"For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her" (Proverbs 8:11).

"Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, Than he who honors himself but lacks bread" (Proverbs 12:9).

"Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, Than great treasure with trouble" (Proverbs 15:16).

"Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred" (Proverbs 15:17).

"Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice" (Proverbs 16:8).

"How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver" (Proverbs 16:16).

"Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud" (Proverbs 16:19).

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city" (Proverbs 16:32).

"Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife" (Proverbs 17:1).

"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool" (Proverbs 19:1).

"What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar" (Proverbs 19:22).

"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman" (Proverbs 21:9).

"Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed" (Proverbs 27:5).

"Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend, Nor go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away" (Proverbs 27:10).

"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich" (Proverbs 28:6).

You don't need a college education to be a righteous man, but you do need to be righteous to truly be successful.

Thank you for your words and the Bible verses. I guess I just got carried away by the distressing pressure I felt from society in general to "succeed in the real world." I don't like feeling like that. Once again, thank you.