Well, in some ways I didn’t write this, but it’s time to. After my current Theological Survey II class ends (which I’m nearly halfway through), I’ll be withdrawing from Liberty University after wrapping up both my Theological Survey courses and Hermeneutics work (I will have completed 3 classes by that point, of the two main topics I wanted to focus on).
A few key things led me to this:
- The cost is too high now: After my accident last year, and my car getting totaled, my finances (which were on track to be very, very good in 2017) were derailed completely. In the summer I was under the impression a non-working car I had was going to get fixed/work fine (and be my mode of transportation for 12-18 months as I worked on buying a newer used car outright) and so in July/August when I enrolled at Liberty I felt confident I had X amount of money to work with. But, by late October it was clear: The fixed up car wasn’t reliable as a daily driver, and I needed to just suck it up and get a hefty loan to buy a car. So with that expensive car financing and required higher insurance cost, my budget for tuition went away almost overnight. And let’s not even factor in all my still unpaid medical bills from 1 year ago, which I owe on.
- Time to complete: If I couldn’t take ~6-7 classes annually, the program (20 classes) would take me over 3 years to complete. My original plan? Take 2-3 classes each semester, 3 times a year, so I could finish it up in about 2 years. But now, even at 4-5 classes annually, we’re talking 4-5 years. No thanks.
- Simplifying: I’ve been working on a minimalism-focused lifestyle, and honestly, this added stress, classwork and money annoyance is making my life overly complex now. I have a full-time job, bills, a house to maintain and other things I want to enjoy (maybe I want to sight-see this year? Or spend time with my family! Or perhaps just save/pay off some older bills?).
- Tired of formal education: I already have 2 Associate and 2 Bachelor degrees, and have taken hundreds of credits worth of college classes since 2000 (no joke). I’m nearly done, brain-wise. I may one day wish to get a small Masters-level IT certificate or something, but that’s it (I would go for a Bible certificate, but all Bible schools I’ve found are so expensive). Even then, we’ll see. My days of formal academia may just be over. If I do anything, it may be small courses here and there.
- Self-study: I also have Logos 7 Gold now, and I’m paying that off, at $70/mo. That, I think, will be my primary research/learning/serious study tool overall. I bought that in December thinking Liberty may eventually be going away.
So yeah, it’s a slight bummer about Liberty University, as it is a nice school and I’ve enjoyed the classwork I’ve done … but at this point there are too many reasons now not to do it, at this point in my life. I gave it a good shot, and if the economy was better and I didn’t have an unexpected car note to pay, things might be different. I don’t see it as failing because 1) I was never going to get a formal degree/do it as a career, 2) unexpected life bills and no chance for student loans killed finances (out of my control) and 3) I gave it a proper shot, for the right reasons, and with the right mindset. I also will have completed most of the main courses I wanted to focus on and that interested me the most.