why go to college


To a largely increasing number of yoimg girls college doors are

opening every year. Every year adds to the number of men who feel as a

friend of mine, a successful lawyer in a great city, felt when in talking of

the future of his four little children he said, "For the fwo boys it is not so

serious, but I lie down at night afraid to die and leave my daughters only a

bank account." Year by year, too, the experiences of life are teaching

mothers that happiness does not necessarily come to their daughters when

accounts are large and banks are sound, but that on the contrary they take

grave risks when they trust everything to accumulated wealth and the

chance of a happy marriage. Our American girls themselves are becoming

aware that they need the stimulus, the discipline, the knowledge, the

interests of the college in addition to the school, if they are to prepare

themselves for the most serviceable lives.

But there are still parents who say, "There is no need that my daughter

should teach; then why should she go to college?" I will not reply that

college training is a life insurance for a girl, a pledge that she possesses

the disciplined ability to earn a living for herself and others in case of need,

for I prefer to insist on the importance of giving every girl, no matter what

her present circumstances, a special training in some one thing by which

she can render society service, not amateur but of an expert sort, and

service too for which it will be willing to pay a price. The number of

families will surely increase who will follow the example of an eminent

banker whose daughters have been given each her specialty. One has

chosen music, and has gone far with the best masters in this country and in

Europe, so far that she now holds a high rank among musicians at home

and abroad. Another has taken art, and has not been content to paint pretty

gifts for her friends, but in the shidios of New York, Munich, and Paris,

she has won the right to be called an artist, and in her studio at home to

paint portraits which have a market value. A third has proved that she can

earn her living, if need be, by her exquisite jellies, preserves, and

sweetmeats. Yet the house in the mountams, the house by the sea, and the

friends in the city are not neglected, nor are these young women found less

attractive because of their special accomplishments.

While it is not true that all girls should go to college any more than