Girls and College

A great many girls in the top half of their high school class do not go to college. This is a great loss to the nation in more ways than one.

But there is an even deeper kind of loss: A girl who does not have the benefit of a good education finds out later that in many situations, including rearing children, the lack of the common fund of knowledge shared among her college friends leaves her out. She has to settle for a poorer job. She will have trouble dealing wisely with her children. She may even have to settle for a less desirable husband. This brings us to another topic.

Some girls who attend college think of the campus as a place to meet boys. And they think of it only as that. Some common-sense opinions, which few can deny, are worth writing here.

If a girl were to seek just any man, she can trust solely to good looks, cute mannerisms, and feminine charms. But if she wants someone special, she has to plan ahead and deserve such a man. That someone special will want his girl to have more attributes than mere good looks and a nice social demeanor. He will wane someone with common interests that last for forty or fifty years. He will want someone who doesn’t hold him back professionally by appearing stupid. He will imagine (rightly or wrongly) that a stupid wife is a reflection on him. He will want a girl who is as much above average as he is, and in later years, as he grows, he will expect his wife to grow intellectually with him.

Lastly, a girl with ability who does not go to college is setting up a situation which may prove to be saddening later in life. A professor was once asked why he preferred teaching in a girl’s college, and his sincere answer was, “When you teach a man, you teach an individual. But when you teach a girl, you teach a whole family.”

College life confers no magical advantage to young people. It only offers a chance to compress part of the wisdom of mankind into four years for those who are willing to make self-education their business, both in college and for the rest of their lives.

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