College life too unpredictable for marriage

Whether you are in a serious relationship, casually dating someone or changing partners as often as you change socks, we have all thought about the commitment that binds you to one person forever. At least until death, or divorce, do you part.
Per usual, my inspiration for my editorial comes from a little obsessive Facebook stalking and my charming hometown.
As I have entered my fourth year at Tech, the number of times I have seen so-and-so went from being “in a relationship to engaged” has increased significantly. Let me define the phrase “increased significantly.” I mean to say that that number has increased to be greater than zero.
Before you begin calling me cynical or jaded and accuse me of being fearful of commitment, let me provide further clarification. These couples are still in college. And, they will be married while still in school. College is one of the most tumultuous times in a person’s life. It is a time to grow up, a time to move away from home or off campus and a time to learn how to cook something other than ramen.
It is a time to meet new people and maybe lose touch with old ones, a time to switch your major for the third time, a time to dye your hair pink, a time to support a cause you are passionate about and a time to experiment.
It is a time to figure out how to study since high school was so easy, how to apply for and then pay off loans when you are broke and how to get into graduate school when you do not know the first thing about graduate school. It is a time to make mistakes and then learn from those mistakes. It is a time of serious change.
The years we spend in college are supposed to provide a foundation for the rest of our lives. We are supposed to earn degrees and then take jobs that have nothing to do with said degrees or decide to spontaneously travel to Ecuador or decide to join the Peace Corps. The world is at our fingertips, and it is imperative to take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of us. We may never encounter these opportunities again.
In my last three and a half years at Tech, I’ve met more people than I can count and developed friendships I know will last a lifetime. I have switched my major twice, found new interests every month and changed my mind about my future career path almost every week, much to the anxiety of my parents. And I am sure I am not alone. Rapid change is a theme in most college students’ lives.
So, amidst all these changes, there are people who think it is a good idea to make a lifelong commitment to someone. While struggling to maintain good GPA’s and find jobs in this ailing economy, there are some young couples who think they can also handle the stress of marriage.
While I have never been married, I am confident in saying that the key to any successful marriage is stability. If I did not make my earlier point clearly enough, let me reiterate: college does not supply much stability. Furthermore, these changes in a young person’s life do not stop immediately after college. We continue to grow and change for several years after.
I understand that for many young couples, love is one of the biggest factors in their decision to get married. But if their love is as strong as they know it is, why rush into marriage during the most transitional time of your lives? College students should allow themselves to grow beyond college before committing to something so serious. Students should really know what we are getting into. If someone is already convinced their relationship can last a lifetime, what is so bad about postponing the ceremony that will bind them together? Where is the harm in waiting to establish financial stability before beginning a life together?
The honeymoon period of a relationship only lasts for so long, and love can only take you so far. With 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce and 60 percent ending for those who get married between the ages of 20 and 25, it might be a good idea to take a step back and slow things down. It may be beneficial to slowly build a relationship full of good memories to help you get through difficult times, especially when that honeymoon period is over. It would be helpful to see how the relationship works beyond the college years and to see how you deal with the stress of living together in the real world. If a relationship stands the test of “real life” stress, then it will stand the test of time.
And, as cliché as this sounds, it will always be worth the wait.


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