When I was younger and thought of marriage, I would always picture an older couple years after college with a full time job. As I’ve gotten older, marriage has become appealing to a younger crowd. Almost a trend, marriage has recently seemed to attract either students or people fresh out of college. I get it—you’ve been with your partner for years and years, what seems like forever to people our age. High school or college sweethearts have often managed the balancing act with school, jobs, clubs, activities and relationships, and some feel like the next logical step would be marriage. But what’s all the hype about? Why are students rushing to make one of the biggest decisions in their life when they haven’t really even begun their life yet?
“Marriage just seems right for us after being together for part of high school and throughout college. I don’t know why we would wait to talk about it,” said Sydney R., a senior at Bard College.
Sydney has been with her boyfriend, Ben*, for six years. Known as the perfect couple to their friends and family, Sydney and Ben naturally believe that they will stay together forever. So why not make it legal?
But what if Sydney’s job brings her somewhere else and she can no longer do the distance? What if Ben just explores his interests more in school and realizes that he should ditch the long-term relationship?
“We’ve done well throughout college with handling our relationship and the other aspects in our life,” said Sydney. “We want to take the next step together. By getting married, we’ll be able to have legal rights while we travel together and after we graduate.”
Health Magazine reported that a recent national survey found that the majority of American college students think 25 is the right age to get married, if not earlier. Sydney definitely wants the ring before she’s 25, but she’d prefer to wait until after she graduates.
But some college students decide that they might as well make the commitment while still studying. According to records from Brigham Young University, 25 percent of the school’s students are already married.
“Sydney wants to wait until she graduates and I want to do what she wants. But I wouldn’t mind getting married now. I don’t see why people keep telling us to wait. We’ve already been together for so long; there’s really no turning back now,” Ben said.
I have to say, after speaking with Sydney and Ben, I still don’t see what the rush to the altar is about. Forget the fact that you’re legally binding yourself to someone forever. Forget about the fact that juggling a marriage with all your other responsibilities is complicated. There are just too many what-ifs in life to be sure about something like that when you’re still trying to shape and form your own life. My advice: wait. If you feel that strongly for someone, you should love the person (and yourself) enough to live your life without all those marriage strings attached. Talking about marriage is normal and practical, but there’s a big difference between talking about it and actually signing the papers.
*Name has been changed
Photo taken from slate.com