Dating at Tech is sometimes like playing Marco Polo in a water park’s wave pool. You might catch someone eventually, but only after bumping into hundreds of people who are not playing and are just trying to stay above water.
Whether you blame the ratio, the difficult classes or the general poorness of college students, there is always a reason not to date. The interesting question is why and how Tech students do.
Three couples were interviewed this year and asked how they make it happen. The lengths of their relationships range from three months to five years.
Jeffrey Stables, a fifth-year CHBE major at Tech and Lauren Potter, a fourth-year History major at Agnes Scott, have been dating for one year and two months. Because Tech has historically been male-dominated while Agnes Scott only enrolls females, there is a long-standing tradition of dating between the two schools.
“We had known each other for a couple of years,” Potter said. “We became good friends one semester, and then the next semester he asked me out, after my friend told me he was going to.”
Stables attributes their relationship to Campus Crusade for Christ, which is a campus ministry in which they are both involved. “We had talked a lot before she went on her ‘Crusade’ summer project, and then after she came back, she was more mature and more spiritually attractive,” Stables said.
Potter says that their favorite way to spend time together is to cook meals, which is cheaper than eating out and more fun. “We turn stuff we have to do into a date,” Stables added.
He said their relationship has taught him to care more about people. “One of the things I’ve learned is that there’s a learning curve with each person. You gradually learn how to care about them.”
Meredith Swegan, a second -year PHYS major and Justin Nevius, a second-year AE major at Tech, have been dating for three and a half years.
After meeting through mutual friends in high school, Swegan and Nevius started dating their junior year. “His intelligence and his laugh attracted me,” Swegan said.
One way the couple spends time together is by watching movies. “About twice a week, we’ll rent movies from the library,” Nevius said.
Swegan says that the relationship has taught her that it is okay to “chill out” and that her boyfriend’s energetic personality balances her.
Although Tech is hard work, especially since they are both Peer Leaders, Nevius says that going to Tech has not hindered their ability to date. “If anything, going to Tech has strengthened our relationship, because we have to be there to support one another,” Nevius said.
Also, the couple likes to keep things fun by not being too serious and always playing practical jokes on one another. They will just have to be more careful in the future, as Swegan said some of the jokes have ended in minor injury.
Cameron Miller, a fourth-year ME major and Lauren Russell, a third-year CHBE major, have been engaged for 11 months.
Miller says that his fiancée turned him down twice before agreeing to go on their first date, but that it was worth the wait.
“I was so distracted by her that we forgot where we parked. and then it started raining,” Miller said. “[She said] ‘it’s okay’, it’ll make it more memorable,’ which it did,” Russell said.
The couple has also weathered a long-distance relationship in the midst of their time together.
After starting to date in high school, Cameron came to Tech first, and Lauren followed. Miller said that “most of the arguments we had in our relationship were during that period of time, and most of our arguments are still about school.”
However, the success of their relationship proves that school, even one as tough as Tech, doesn’t have to get in the way of love.