I just read Fence Sitter’s excellent first blog post where she writes:
I did not go to college because I thought that it was assur to do so and then I had three kids by age 23.
This hit a raw nerve in me.
When I was in Yeshiva, I was also brainwashed not to go to University. In my particular yeshiva, the saying went “PENN yifteh levavchem”. In other words, going to PENN (or for that matter any IVY League university) would definitely make you go astray…
After 3 years of yeshivah, I was convinced that going to university would make me lose my yiddishkeit. So I did some 3-year course way below my ‘level’ and I am actually currently working on a job that required only a 3-month course.
(This, of course, is one of the pet ‘proofs’ of the frum community that you don’t really need a degree to earn a living: “I know someone who did not do a degree but earns a lot of money”. The exception should somehow prove the rule. Well, actually, the rule is that people who don’t have some higher degree of secular learning will end up having a job in which they can not support their families.)
Of course, not having studied is not trivial to me.
First of all, there is little possibility for me to advance in my job since I haven’t got the right CV because most jobs in IT require some higher level of studies. OK, I am sure there are jobs that don’t really require that as a rule, but it nevertheless is give as a requirement for pretty much every interesting job I ever looked for.
Secondly, I should easily be able to study according to the career coaching tests I did. It is stam a waste not to have studied and instead doing some lame course where my brain cells were fermenting most of the time, I could have learnt some tachles skills.
But what really eats me is that I never knew what it is like to be in university and never had the intellectual satisfaction of studying something real.
Now that I am married with 2 children, I will have to think of a way to do a bachelor with an Open University program if I am ever to pursue some higher level studying. Since most of them require some 10 hours of week studying (minimum!), Î am currently too reluctant to sacrifice the time I have with my family, especially my children, and my wants and aspirations will have to take a backseat.