Love/Sex Writer | Kayla Blanton | firstname.lastname@example.org
When many students at Ohio University think about the relationship between male and female students, the first scene that may come to mind is hooking up after sharing a few shots at a Mill St. rager. What many people don’t realize is that there are some Bobcats out there in committed relationships, and some who have even gone as far as putting a ring on it before they graduate.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the national average age at which people get married is 28. Because the number is so high, getting engaged in college can definitely be seen as a rare occurrence. Although it’s not required for a couple to get married within a year or so after getting engaged, Wedding Paper Divas’ research concluded that 40 percent of engaged couples wait 18 months at the most before tying the knot.
This “rule” would require many who are engaged while still in school to get married before they even graduate, so it’s safe to say that most student fiancées make an exception, and wait to get married after graduation. If this is the case, you may ask, what’s the point of popping the question so early?
Junior music education major Michaela Jones has the answer. “It’s just a friendly reminder of how much he cares for me and how committed we are to one another,” said Jones. Jones and her fiancée have been together for six years, and have been engaged for two. Aside from being engaged, her partner William lives in her hometown, keeping them from seeing each other often. This brought Jones to point out that communication is vital, not only to a successful engagement, but a successful relationship in general. “Communication is extremely important in a relationship no matter how far away you are. But I find it extremely difficult in college,” said Jones. Not only do engaged college students have to find time between their piles of homework and school spirit to spend some quality time together, but also start picking out some wedding colors.
To Jones and fellow engaged junior Michelle Law, getting engaged doesn’t call for immediate marriage. “It can work in college…but getting engaged doesn’t mean instant growing up,” said Law. College is a time meant to be spent in the name of freedom, which is why engagement wouldn’t be appealing to the majority of the student population. For Law, the want for freedom instigated by the college experience got in the way of her engagement. “The biggest difference (from dating) was the expectations,” said Law.
OU alumnus Sandhya Warrier and her fiancée recently got engaged after graduating in 2014. “We wanted to be settled in terms of having a secure future job-wise before making that kind of decision,” said Warrier.
Ultimately, it depends on the specific circumstances of a couple’s relationship to decide when it’s time to celebrate the big day. Being engaged in college, if anything, holds a relationship accountable through the craziness of being a twenty-something. Whether dating or already engaged, hats off to Bobcats in love!