Why I Am Not Waiting for a Ring by Spring

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I love weddings. The cake, the dancing, getting to trade my usual shorts and athletic clothes for a dress and heels, seeing two people commit to each other for the rest of their lives; I love the whole nine yards. But now it is my close friends getting married instead of distant relatives, and it has taken a bit of getting used to.

For one thing, when did we become old enough to get married? I don’t even want to go to the doctor without my mom, much less think about settling down with someone forever. I will tip my hat to those who have their lives figured out enough to make marriage vows. Good for you. I barely figured out how to turn on the dishwasher this week.

But, I am now 21 and for my conservative Church of Christ school, that means I should have already had a boyfriend for at least a year now, so I can get engaged at the end of the fall semester and get married the summer after I graduate.

Joke’s on them, I am as single as they come.

I am not bashing people who get engaged or even married in college, but what I am saying is this unnecessary pressure of finding your soul mate in college and making sure you leave in four years with a diploma and a diamond ring needs to be dialed back quite a bit.

Not everyone’s future spouse is on their college campus, and yet seeing engagement after engagement post on Instagram, followed by wedding after wedding post, can make you feel as if there is something wrong with you if you do not find that person as soon as humanly possible once you set foot on your campus freshman year.

I came into college without the slightest regard for finding a husband. I had, and still have, plenty to focus on with softball, schoolwork, club, etc., yet at the start of my sophomore year, I felt the pressure to settle down get to me as well. I needed to start dating someone right then so the cycle would work for me, too. Because what would happen if I remained single for the rest of my time on campus?

Everyone “good” would already be taken, and I would be forever alone. Dramatic, I know, but the idea of getting that “ring by spring,” even when meant as a joke, is ingrained into you from day one. The idea of graduating without a serious relationship, at the very least, reads more like a death wish to be a spinster for the rest of your life than an opportunity to start a life for yourself without having to consider your spouse’s needs the second you step out of your college safety bubble.

I am not saying people should wait until they are 30 to get married. I just wish private, Christian schools would realize the negative consequences this marriage environment can have on all students.

Instead, meet people in college. Date. But please, please, please do not rush into a serious relationship with someone because you feel pressured to get engaged before you graduate or because you are afraid to go out into the big, scary, real world by yourself.

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