by minimus 43 Replies latest jw friends

  • Fe2O3Girl

    I did go to college, but I went the route of day release study while working full time, rather than continuing in full time education after 18yrs old. As it happens, I was incredibly lucky that the job I took at 18 put me down that route, as I would have taken any job going to avoid university.

    In the UK, 16 year olds may choose not to continue their education, and of course, it was considered ideal to leave education at this age. I did A'levels until I was 18, then found full time work.

    In my area, although the most worthy course was to pioneer, and find the most back breaking low paid part time work, working full time was still viewed more favourably than studying full time. The real reason is that higher education is encouraging you to think for yourself. I was the brunt of occasional criticism, but never had any hassle from elders.

    In my case, I think I took the best route for me, regardless of JW attitudes to education. I still don't think continuing in full time education would have been the successful course for me.

  • joelbear

    The best way to overcome your bitterness is to go back to college now. I am 44 and finally working on the degree I would have gone for at age 18 without all the anti-college pressure.

    I haven't lived a deprived life. I had a good 20 year career in banking. Now, I am pursuing the education in Math that I have always wanted.

    Take the energy from the anger and direct it toward your dreams.

    Living well and living the way you always wanted to is the best revenge against the Watchtower Society.


  • Oreopandabear

    I went to a Vocational H.S., and two of my teachers saw my passion for cooking and begged me to apply at Johnson & Wales. My parents angrily opposed it. This went on for 2 years! It made me so sick inside.

    I'm currently looking into online courses - in a different field


  • Seeker4


    Grew up in the Witnesses in the 60s (baptized 63), and you are right about how college was viewed at that time, and really well into the 90s. My kids are upset that they never got to play sports when they were young, and it may very well have been a route that would have kept them out of a fair amount of unnecessary trouble.

    I think the lack of education has had a huge impact on my income over the decades since then. I work today as a professional journalist, but it took me several years of struggling to get to this point, and the money is not always that great. My wife (also raised a Witness who took the pioneering route) just landed a job that should have required a degree, but she had 7 years experience in the field. I think that in addition to the degree I also missed out on the even more important contacts and connections that a college eduation would have provided for my eventual career choice.

    And dmouse - GREAT letter!


  • zenpunk

    This is one of my biggest reasons for being angry at the WTS. Especially when, after taking a firm stand of not going to college and pioneering, a prominant elder sent his 2 girls off the university, all expenses paid. And here I was cleaning offices at four o'clock in the morning. Fortunately that has all changed and I get to use my brain for a living now. Its tough though, going to a private college full of kids ages 18 to 22 when your 31 years old. Sometimes I let it get to me and I have to fight back the anger. But, the point is I'm going. Even though my parents will never understand or be proud, I'm proud of me. My husband also started college last year.

  • waiting

    Hey Joelbear,

    Good - no........excellent, advice. Use our anger to better ourselves. *One* of my therapists encountered me when I was really, really, mad at a psychiatrist I had to visit for Prozac. He wouldn't see me because I was 5 minutes late - and I had just driven 1.5 hrs to his office, and called ahead of time to tell them I was stuck in traffic. Made a *little* scene in his office

    When I went to see my regular therapist, still ranting, she told me a little secret: "Anger is a great motivator." I believe her.

    Congratulations for being motivated in a positive flow. You deserve it!


  • NeonMadman

    Yeah, I'm pretty angry with the Watchtower for discouraging college (among the many other things I'm angry with them over).

    Here I am, at 50, still wondering what I want to be when I grow up. Oh, I've done well over the years. I always worked hard and had a few things, owned my own home, drove a new car (usually a Chevy), etc. Most of what I had was taken by my JW ex-wife in the divorce, but that's another issue.

    But it could have been so much easier. I could have worked all these years with my mind, not with my back. I could have worked 40 hour weeks instead of 50 and 60 hour weeks. I could have been doing work I loved, instead of work I merely tolerated. I haven't hated most of my jobs, but I haven't really loved any of them, either.

    Now, I'm looking for a change. Eventually, I'd like to go into a ministry, involving perhaps teaching at a Christian school or college. Again, more education is required.

    In looking for a more immediate change, I find myself blocked even in trying to change industries. I have many years of sales experience, but it is simply amazing how many companies won't even talk to me about selling for them because I don't have a bachelor's degree.

    So, I'm getting more education. I'm finishing up the associate's degree in Business Admin. that I started 15 years ago. After that, I may switch to pursuing a bachelor's in Biblical Studies. At least the liberal arts and social science courses should transfer, so I won't have the full burden of starting fresh. Later, a master's? Seminary? Don't know. The bachelor's is enough of a goal for right now, and things could change again before it's complete.

    But, yeah, I sure wish I had done all this when I was young. It would have meant a whole different level of living, not just financially, but in terms of happiness and personal fulfillment. A dose of critical thinking as a young'un might have even spared me some of those years lost to the cult.

  • Alana

    Sorry, but this is a topic on which I just have to vent some steam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YES, I have been upset and quite bitter (and I don't like being negative as a rule)! I had the opportunity for a scholarship (at least a partial one) and I had to give up my dreams ... because it "might stumble" someone. It was in 1981 and they were getting a bit more lenient regarding education....more for like trade schools, rather than 4-yr colleges. BUT, my parents had always been proud of my grades and let me take the college entrance tests and all, but really didn't want me to go to college. I told them that if nothing else it would help me know where I stood with my peers, etc. (secretly then hoping that they'd see the good scores and agree to me going to school).

    Well, I scored great and I started to have scholarship opportunities pop up and I had all but gently worked on my parents to give in and let me go when another elder heard I took the tests and caused a big ruckus. My dad was the P.O. and this elder had a fit that he'd allow me to take the tests, since going to college was out of the question and not a spiritual goal...blah, blah, blah. So, needless to day, to avoid 'reproach' my plans were totally squashed.

    But you want to know what pisses me off the MOST about it all.......that very same elder ended up sending all his three kids to college (not all graduated) within the next couple of years. His excuses??? Son: "He wants to go to Bethel, so it would be helpful to the Borg if he had a good education" (son IS at Patterson now) Daughter#2: "She has had (behavioral) problems and I think keeping her in an educational setting would be good." Daughter#1: "She is going to be an old maid, so she needs to be able to support her self and needs a good education to do that."

    THAT IS WHAT MADE ME EVEN MORE PISSED! It was a sin for me to go, yet it was "beneficial" for his children to go. Yes, I am case you haven't noticed.

    My father is now 80 and his mind is mother KNOWS to not bring this subject up, as it gets me angry. One day my dad was showing me a picture a brother in their Hall had drawn and he was so proudly saying that this brother was going on to Art School and even got scholarship offers, etc. My blood was boiling, as my artwork in school was much better that his AND one of my scholarship opportunities that I had to give up was to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago! My mother notices the pain and anger in my face and changed the subject. (I can't be angry directly at him, because he is not really mentally 'here' all the time--otherwise I may have really gone off at him for being so proud of something that he forbid me to do myself).

    I have been fortunate in my employment through the years, in that I have worked up to positions that usually require a mandantory degree. I've had good employers who have overlooked by lack of a degree and appreciated my hard work and knowledge. I haven't given up totally on college, but I just haven't been able to do it yet, due to various life circumstances. helped me get the 'on the job' experience. But, I have still been angry and boyfriend says I need to make it a goal in my life to go back to school....I have always kept that goal and someday I hope to acheive it......I may be in an old age home when I do it, but I want to do it!

  • Bodhisattva

    When I graduated high school at 18 in June 1990, here is what my world looked like:

    • I had tried to pursue work with my hands, but discontinued vocational school after a year of being alone among 30 other carpentry students who were into heavy metal and marijuana.
    • I had been on my school's champion team for the county (local cable-televised) trivia game - that and "Mathletes" was not looked down upon as much as the more athletic after-school activities - and was offered one of the two one-year scholarships we won for our school.
    • My father (not yet interested in the Witnesses) had been worked at a college for over 20 years (we had at times lived on campus), and a factor in his leaving the college - and the benefit of free tuition for his kids - was my professed lack of interest in attending.
    • I was finally done with those worldly teachers and guidance counselors insisting I should go to college, trying to sign me up for thousands of dollars in scholarships, because I was going to do the more important work of serving Jehovah.
    • I was two months away from starting an eight-year retail career that would never exceed 1.8 times minimum wage, after which worldly friend would help me get a technology job at decent wages.

    Bite me, Watchtower.

  • garybuss

    I am not upset that I didn't go to college at the age my classmates did. I am disappointed in my parents for their prolific refusal to prepare me or even support those who would have prepared me for a life as an adult.

    In elementary school I was drug out Tuesday evening at 6:30 till 9:00 pm or later for pre study fundraising and literature study. Wednesday night it was out again for 2 hours for back call night and more fundraising and recruiting. Thursday night it was out at 6:30 again and back after 10:00 pm for the ministry school and the service meeting with a smoke break between for the smokers.

    I went to school most days with homework not done and I did badly in school at grade reporting time. I was told I would never have to go to high school or get married or have to raise children in this old world and wouldn't it be wonderful to be in the new world and to be smart automatically . . . so couldn't I see there was to need to miss service or meetings in order to do well in school now . . . but meetings and service was the important thing because Armageddon was so close. 1955 I was in 5th grade, scared to death of god and armageddon and expecting to die any day.

    In high school it was more of the same and more pressure to dispense with school and extracurricular activities for unpaid book sales and meeting attendance. I was told I would never graduate from high school by my parents and group members as well, so when I was in my senior year I flunked out on purpose so I would not graduate so they could be right. My teachers all told me I was smart and could not figure out why I did not try at all in school.

    Every thing I did in life was a conflict in that my parents and the Jehovah's Witnesses had told me I would not have to do it, like getting married, seeing my first wife die, having children, now getting old. Every single thing they told me was a lie.

    Now I am 58 and my parents are old and still waiting for the Watch Tower Corporation's promises to be delivered to them and they have rejected me because I reminded them of all their false promises to me and because I left the delusion they call truth.

    In order to survive, I had to overcome denial of living itself. I was prepared to be rocketed into the new world or die at armageddon but I was not prepared to live a full and long life as a member of society. I was lucky that I witnessed the 1975 fiasco in my 31st year and realized no miracle was going to kill me any time soon and that I had to hustle and catch up and go to work.


Share this