Raw Interview With Our Daughter Home From College

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Episode Summary

Angie has a raw discussion with our oldest daughter after just getting home from college. She asks Kelsey how we could have been better parents. Her answer might shock you, it certainly did us. They also discuss what it’s like being a Christian woman at college, her tips for parents, why she’s at college and reflections on being homeschooled and going directly to college afterward. She also shares why she loves coming home on breaks and how it helps her calibrate her thinking before returning to college.

Raw Interview With Our Daughter Home From College

In this episode, we are joined by our oldest daughter Kelsey! As a result of Kelsey being Home for Christmas, we are doing an interview! 

Kelsey currently attends Liberty University in Virginia, she is a sophomore. She works part-time for the college at Resident’s Life and is a full-time student!

Topics Of Interest For Today’s Interview With Kelsey:

  1. What Made You Decide To Go To College?

  2. Should Women Go To College?

  3. Homeschool – Liberty University

  4. Realizations In 1st Year

  5. What Are You Thankful For About Your Upbringing?

  6. 15k Students – Gen 2 – Advice For Parents

  7. What Makes You Want To Come Home?

  8. What Could We Have Done Better?


1. What Made You Decide To Go To College?

  • So let’s dive in!
  • Angie: So Kelsey, what made you decide to go to college? This is a loaded question.
  • Kelsey: Well, the education I received from you and Dad made me never want to stop learning! I have quickly realized that I love learning and I didn’t want to stop. Graduating high school just wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to learn more and I felt like I was called to keep learning. I had developed a passion for learning and to ignore that deeply rooted passion seemed foolish for me in my situation. 
  • Angie: I love how you said “in my situation” because college is not for everyone and you were raised by two people who have gone to college and received college degrees but if you guys have listened to this podcast to any extent you would know that we are not strict about college. College is not necessary for many situations. We have not raised our children with the anticipation that they have to go to college nor do we pay for your college. What do you think about that Kelsey?
  • Kelsey: You and Dad do not pay for my college, you have supported me don’t get me wrong, you are very generous, but the weight of paying for college falls on my shoulders, and for me, it adds value to how I view college. I think that it is very healthy for me to place the dollar sign on my courses so that I care more about making the most out of them. 
  • Angie: I’m sure there is probably a correlation between how hard a student will appreciate college and how seriously they take it based upon how much they pay for it. You have made college possible for yourself by working hard for a lot of scholarships and getting most of it paid for by the school, but you had to work above and beyond to get the scholarships, so while you may not be paying as much as most people you paid for it with your time and effort. 
  • Angie: So the original question was “what made you decide to go to college?” and I thought that would be a good opening question because there are a lot of Christians out there that have differing views on whether women should go to college, which is a different topic than just whether you should go to college. A lot of Christians are scared to send their children to college because they are afraid that they will fall away from the faith. 
  • Angie: Kelsey, have you seen this happen? Where parents don’t send their kids to college for fear of them losing their faith?
  • Kelsey: Well, I am one of the ones who do go to college and college is not a place where you will meet people who don’t want to go to college. But, I have come across many students who do not go to college to learn but rather for the college experience, or to make their parents proud or even to find a spouse and get married. 
  • Angie: I and your father both went to school for a purpose and we have raised our kids to do the same if they decide that college is the right route for them. And that is the same for you right Kelsey?
  • Kelsey: Yes, I would not have decided to go to college to meet people or to make anyone proud, I decided to go to college because I felt that I was called to learn more and receive a higher form of education. 
  • Angie: Kelsey why don’t you share how you feel when you are living on purpose versus not living on purpose. 
  • Kelsey: Ya, so when I am living on purpose I tend to be way more joyful, confident and happy about my quality of life and in contrast when I’m not living on purpose and when I’m not striving for something and being productive it can be easy to feel down about myself. And this is something that we live by, its that work hard and then play hard lifestyle. Because it’s not like we don’t know how to relax its that we are rewarding ourselves for working hard and being purposeful. And that is a well-balanced lifestyle to have. 


2. Should Women Go To College?

  • Angie: So the question, should women go to college? A lot of Christians believe that women should be getting married and raising children therefore there is no reason for them to get an education. What are your thoughts on that Kelsey? 
  • Kelsey: In the secular arena women are actual the majority of college students and think that in part that has to do with the ever-growing feminist movement but in the arena of Christianity and the moral perspectives and family values that come with I think that family is extremely important and I think that it is generally more difficult for a family to operate the way God intended it to if the woman or man is not focused on family first. For a lot of women when they go to college, I think it is a common belief that they need to get a job for the degree that they have acquired otherwise college was a complete waste, and I do not believe that is true at all. 
  • Angie: Amen, and do you feel that pressure of making college worth it by continuing in a career? 
  • Kelsey: No, not at all.
  • Angie: And that is what is exciting because you were just doing the next right thing that you knew God was calling you to. If God has placed specific passions in your child then that might mean letting them go to college. God placed different passions and interests in everyone for a reason and it is good to pursue them. Going to college and then doing nothing with your degree isn’t a waste. We hope and pray for Kelsey’s future husband all the time and when she gets married her college education and experiences that she has had at college will prepare her for being married and being a mother. 
  • Angie: A person who is living on purpose and learning about things they love they tend to be way more joyful and excited about life and when that happens they tend to be even more attractive to people of similar interests! 
  • Angie: We have known ever since Kelsey was little that she was very academic and she loved it. She has probably read between 500-700 books over the years and loved it. She would babysit and then spend her money trying to fund first edition classics. The best punishment for her was us taking away her books. And that just gives you a glimpse of what Kelsey loves to do and what her interests are. when Kelsey decided that she wanted to go to college we were not in the slightest bit surprised. 
  • Angie: Some of you may be wondering how you would be able to significantly send your kids to college. When Kelsey decided to go to college we were in our worst financial place ever. We were over a million dollars in debt from a business failure and we could not support Kelsey even though we never planned to pay for her college, but it didn’t matter. Kelsey worked very hard and got high scores so that she could get over 80% of her college paid for. 
  • Kelsey: Guys, I am not a genius. I worked hard and I got average to high scores and that is enough to get you to a lot of places. If you just really put effort into your work you can receive scholarships and you can go to the college of your dreams. 
  • Angie: Here is another reason why we homeschooled our children and talked to them about the potential of college. Kelsey, if you are blessed with children one day, Lord willing, will you homeschool your kids? 
  • Kelsey: Yes, for sure. 
  • Angie: So, this education that you are getting at liberty university will help you in parenting and homeschooling your children, any education that we have will help us in our future one way or another and it is our job as humans to pass on knowledge to the generations to come. 
  • Kelsey: This is not to discourage any of you homeschool moms who have not received higher education. Because anyone is capable and the Lord will bless any effort you put in. and yes you need to try hard and put in the effort but you do not need a college education to successfully educate your children and prepare them for their future. 
  • Angie: Education is good. We should always be learning, always be growing but for me, the majority of my education happened once I started homeschooling. It is very, very redemptive


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3. Homeschool – Liberty University

  • Angie: Let’s talk about being homeschooled in regards to being prepared for liberty university. Kelsey, do you think that you were ready for college? 
  • Kelsey: Well, I think that it depends on how you define ready because I think that I was as prepared to learn as I could have been but it’s not like I went in and knew everything already. Well, my mom taught me to love to learn which is why I have all of those hundreds of books. Which is very important, if you don’t want to learn it will be very difficult for you. The community that we were a part of was also a very big component to why I was prepared for school because you need to have people around you that are pursuing the same goals and the discussions that I was able to partake in that class setting once a week was very beneficial to me. I learned to respectfully agree and disagree, I learned how to think in a logically sound way and healthy competition is very healthy where you are trying to spur each other on and be the best you can be but not try to one-up each other. 
  • Angie: So for those of you wondering, we did a program called classical conversations and we have done that program with all of our children. Doing classical conversations in your highschool years was powerful because you did things like debate. 
  • Kelsey: Right, yes. 
  • Angie: In debate, you had to learn to see things through a different lens. Do you remember that one debate that you struggled with where you just really struggled with the negative side of the argument because you agreed so strongly with their affirmative? 
  • Kelsey: Yes I do remember that. It is really important to be able to research a point of view, gather evidence and not necessarily agree with it but figure out why you disagree with it and be able to articulate an argument in a respectful way why you disagree with it. And to remove emotion from the equation, because when people get emotionally charged in certain debates it can be really unfortunate because it can kill the possibility of ever resolving the issue. Hopefully when you have a conversation with somebody and you disagree on something either there will be a resolution where you can agree or come to a compromise, and sometimes there will be issues that will be disagreed upon and that’s okay but I think that we should be striving to learn and even if we can just learn why someone thinks a different way we have accomplished something great because to be able to understand a people group and why that group believes what they do can be beneficial to future debates that you may have and be able to respond to certain groups in a way that will deflect conflict and hopefully produce a resolution. 
  • Angie: Kelsey, what was the single most beneficial from being homeschooled?
  • Kelsey: I would say that learning to be independent in my studies and taking on learning as my responsibility. Having the ability to be independent is very important because in college you have to be independent and it’s your responsibility to learn and grow. 
  • Angie: It’s good that you brought this up because independence is important. You need to be hands-on with your children and their education especially when they are younger but as they get older you should give them more responsibility and independence so that when they are in high school they are less reliant on you and can schedule out their week and be responsible for getting everything done that they need to. And then if they go to college they will be prepared.


4. Realizations In 1st Year

  • Angie: So, Kelsey what were your biggest realizations in your first year of college? 
  • Kelsey: I think one of the biggest things that came to my attention in my first year at liberty university was people. how many diverse opinions there are, how people act, how people are wired differently and how experiences shape people because when I listen to people’s stories, it’s amazing how much their backgrounds and things that they have experienced influence their character and everyday lives. Another thing I’ve realized is how much I have missed my family. 
  • Angie: Yeah and even though we are apart we are growing closer and closer to each other which is uncommon in a lot of families. If you are raising your children biblically you should be ever-growing closer to each other and not farther. 

5. What Are You Thankful For About Your Upbringing?

  • Angie: So Kelsey, What are you thankful for about your upbringing?
  • Kelsey: One of the things I am most thankful for my upbringing and how you and Dad have raised me is that you taught us how to work hard. Not only how to do hard things but why we do them, and how to have a good attitude while doing them. Heart attitudes and having a teachable heart is something that you have always really emphasized upon. 
  • Angie: That’s awesome, and we can see your hard work today in how you study full time and have a job. 

6. Gen Z – 15k Students – Advice for Parents

  • Angie: So let’s talk about your generation for a second, you are a part of generation Z and you go to a school where there are somewhere between fourteen to fifteen thousand students on campus. So, what advice do you have for parents who have children in your generation or even parents who have younger kids, what advice do you have for them, in raising their kids? 
  • Kelsey: One very important thing is to always have your kids trying new things. This is something that you and dad have had us all do and I think that it helped me not only get more comfortable with failure but I also think it helped me realize what I’m good at and what I enjoy. And that has given me one of the greatest things which ids experiences. I’ve done theater, I’ve traveled, I’ve learned music and I think that generation z parents should not make their children go to college or university. I think that college is beneficial to a lot of people but I think that it loses its effect in part if the student is not there because he or she wants to be there. And when there are students who don’t want to be there it hurts the environment of the universities and colleges because the students who are there because they want to learn are surrounded by people who just don’t have the same goals and don’t want to be there. I think that this is also very hurtful to society as a whole because we have people who are going to college that don’t know what they want to study and they are going into major debt. And then what happens is they graduate maybe and they have this degree that they don’t want to use and they love to party so what do they do?

7. What makes you want to come home? 

  • Angie: So, Kelsey let’s talk about what makes you want to come home?
  • Kelsey: Well, there is nothing like home. And when I come home, I just feel like I’m back with my people, the people who understand me and I can just be comfortable being me all the time. Home is just a safe place and nothing beats a family that you can trust. Coming home also reminds me of who I am, because being away at college, sometimes it can be easy especially with friends to just move on to the next thing like we will go out and have fun together and then I will go home and study and then ill worry about the next test but when I’m home I can just be home and rest and talk to my family about everything the good and the bad and it’s just so nice. 
  • Angie: Yeah we have a lot of late-night conversations about some deep things and its healthy. We get to talk about your life in Virginia and the student body at the university and challenge you to grow in certain areas and encourage you in others!
  • Kelsey: Another reason why I love coming home is the relationships and how much fun we have with each other! 

8. What could we have done better?

  • Angie: I have one more question for you Kelsey, what do you think that your dad and I could have done better? You were our first child and we both know that we have made mistakes in parenting you and we have had to repent of things in the past but what are some things that you think we could have done better if we were not so aware of?
  • Kelsey: Well, that’s a good question. We have talked about a lot of stuff and I don’t think that there are many things that we haven’t talked about. One thing that I think you could have done better if you could have told me no more often, and this is so funny because I very much dislike it when people tell me no but it’s good for me. Looking back, I don’t have any regrets about my childhood living at home things happen along the way but nothing terrible and nothing that hasn’t been dealt with. I still struggle with pride sometimes and so I think that just saying no to me more often would have been beneficial. 
  • Angie: Well, that is good to hear! So you are saying that we should have been tougher on you! 
  • Angie: This interview has been great, thanks for joining me on the podcast Kelsey I know that all of our listeners love to hear from you kids every once in a while and it just gives people a glimpse into our family life


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Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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