“Hi. My name is Susannah, and I’m homeschooled.” It’s kind of weird not having to say that anymore when people ask me where I’m going to school. Now I am still Susannah, a soon-to-be nineteen-year-old, a student at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, a child of God, and oh, yeah—a homeschool graduate. Growing up, being homeschooled wasn’t something I tried to identify myself with, it just ended up happening naturally. As many homeschoolers might, I felt the need to prove that I was intelligent, and that I had an answer to the question, “What are you doing after high school?” I wanted to show that my parents had actually given me everything I needed to succeed and to prove that homeschooling had completely benefited my life.
Disclaimer: My parents are amazing individuals who did, in fact, prepare me to the best of their ability with the help of our Savior Jesus Christ, and I am eternally thankful for the years of blood, sweat and tears that went into my education. Thanks Mom and Dad. (Insert wink, cheesy peace sign and stuff like that.)
That being said, if I had any advice for the homeschooler who is anxiously anticipating the terrifying freedom that awaits them after graduation, know this: God is in control. Whether your next step is college or missions or working or taking a year to find a start in whatever field you’re called to, know that God is in control. People are still going to ask you the same questions, and it is okay to not have all the answers worked out. Not worked out yet, I mean. You will never fully arrive, and going through this life is about the process, not the product. Do not panic. Trust me; you will panic, and when you do, please remember this truth.
When I graduated, and went off to college to be a dance major, I thought I had the answers worked out. The words would dribble out of my mouth like clockwork, ready to be copyrighted onto an online profile or job application. When I got to school everything shifted. Once I was in my place it started to feel foreign, it’s not that it was different than I expected. I just had to sit down and be honest with myself about who I was, and why I was there. This is a good thing! I am thankful that with prayer and support from those God has put in my life, I came to peace and assurance. Moving to Mississippi and getting away from the mold that I thought was required to fill, pushed me, in the best of ways, to be confident of whom I am in Christ and for my security to lie in Him alone. I can boldly and unabashedly face life in all its complications knowing that my sole purpose in life is to live for His glory and give to others what He has given me. Now, if you asked me about myself today, I’d be happy to tell you that I’m not a dance major anymore and that I’m in the process of changing to a different one; no, I’m not sure where exactly God is taking me, I’m just trusting in His will every day. If you asked, I’d probably tell you something about me—just me. I’d tell you that I love tea and Jane Austen and journaling and Tumblr and hiding in my reading nook under my dorm room bed, surrounded by twinkle lights, and books and learning about organizations and things I’m passionate about. I love being with my friends and family and traveling, embracing snap-shot moments, and pushing towards goals even if those goals change (and they will).
I can definitely thank homeschooling for preparing me to appreciate those things, and my parents for teaching me that this life is important. Living each moment every day is incredibly important. The way you treat people is important. Even though there are things that you are going to be expected to know and be able to do in order to function in society, that is not your sole purpose in life or the definition of who you are as an individual. You are not your career goals, your age, your style, your major or your current occupation. You are a child of God. That is enough. In all the craziness of getting ready for graduation or coming to college or whatever you do remember that. Breathe—God is enough. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10