Many college students aren’t necessarily taking their age into consideration when taking the leap of faith, it seems most have weighed out their options responsibly.
Remember that light blue tuxedo, the sky-high hair and the heinous bridesmaids dresses from your parent’s wedding photos back in the day?
If so, I’m sure you’ll also remember the horrific realization quickly following that maybe –one day– your children would be snortling over your marriage photos, just as you had done to your parents.
Of course, this only came to mind after you recovered from the 300 laughing sit-ups you’d just done which, without a question, qualified as your daily exercise.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1975 the average median age for first marriage was 22.3 years old. Twenty years later, in 2005, the first marriage median jumped somewhat dramatically by four years to 26.3 years old.
To put this in perspective, in four years one can complete a term in the military, graduate with a college degree, or serve a term in the oval office.
Over the years, more and more Americans have chosen to hold off on marriage rather than jump the gun in hopes of a fairy tale romance.
Perhaps this is a psychological effect of startling divorce statistics, the thought of light blue tuxedos or, maybe, more individuals are simply waiting to get hitched until they accomplish specific goals, be it professional or personal.
While many college students aren’t necessarily taking their age into consideration when taking the leap of faith, it seems most have weighed out their options responsibly.
Allison Chenoweth, a student in the physical therapy program at Missouri State University, was proposed to in November 2011 by her boyfriend of two years, Aaron Adler.
“I always thought I’d get married at like 25,” the 22 year-old said. “I never expected to meet someone like Aaron. He exceeded any type of man that I dreamed of, so the time was just perfect.”
The couple, both interested in the field of physical therapy, initially hoped to get married the spring following their engagement. However, with strong opinions on marriage and education, the couple decided to hold off until May 2013, when Chenoweth had finished her second year of physical therapy school.
Adler, on the other hand, has been employed for over a year now as a full-time physical therapist.
“We believe at least one person should be completely done with any coursework that they wanted to do and be out working with a stable income,” Chenoweth said. “It would make the marriage easier and help the person who is in school so both aren’t focusing on tests and getting things done. It’s just more of a support system for each other.”
After seeing many rushed marriages from her high school in Texas crash and burn, Chenoweth said her independent nature helped her realize that education was the one thing that couldn’t be taken away, giving her even more of a reason for a longer engagement.
One college student taking the plunge earlier than most is 21 year-old Reem Malak, a soon-to-be biochemistry major at Temple University.
Engaged in August 2011 to Monier Farah, a 29 year-old doctor, Malak said she never expected to get engaged at such a young age, but after falling in love with Farah, the marriage was inevitable.
The only thing standing in the way of the couple’s romance was a 40-minute drive to one another and Malak’s dreams to attend medical school to become a doctor one day. Instead of waiting until her degree was completed, the Palestinian couple decided to go ahead and plan a wedding for June 17, a little less than a year from their engagement date.
“I knew I wanted to be with him so there was no reason to wait a long time,” Malak said. “He’s a good guy and he’s basically perfect for me. In the beginning I had that [waiting] in my head, the I realized there was no need to wait six years when you know you already want to be with someone.”
Malak said the couple’s middle-eastern culture had a major influence on the marriage as well as the pair’s interest in professional careers as medical practitioners. While most college students aren’t married during their time furthering their education, Malak said the arrangement has been fairly simple.
“The only difficulty in it is kind of balancing planning a wedding and studying for such a huge test [the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test] in my life,” Malak said. “But I’m not missing out on anything, if anything I feel like I’m getting more out of life because I’m with someone who actually cares for me.”
Although many college students are committing to marriage at an even younger age than the national average, it seems those going for it have strongly considered their personal and professional goals before doing so.
Avoiding those embarrassing wedding photos down the line is a whole other story.
Here’s to wishing our college lovebirds the best of luck, baby blue tuxedo or not.
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