By Kyle Boldin, Contributing Writer
Doves flying free, rice scattered across the courtyard, and the inevitable “I do’s” representing love and lifelong unity: this signifies a beautiful union between two or more people who genuinely treasure each other and decide to spend their lives together. As universities continue to diversify, married college students have become an ever-growing factor, and McKendree is no different.
Amongst the McKendree community thrives a small percentage of students, both traditional and non-traditional alike, not only achieving bachelors but also saying “I do.”
While the majority of marriages in college often occur between non-traditional students, traditional students have tied the knot as well. According to senior Kelsey Schultz, “I knew I wanted to marry my husband when I was sixteen years old.” After happily dating for six plus years, she knew her husband Logan was the one. Despite the objections from her friends and family, the two decided to elope in July of 2018.
People often wonder about the struggles married students face, both in balancing academics and their home life. McKendree Junior Casey Roller commented, “It’s hard to maintain our house, take care of our dog Marley, have a social life, and spend time together in between my school work and his job. We have to support one another to ensure that we are successful.” Marriage by no means is an exact science. It often takes sacrifice and compromise to ensure the best results. The key often is to provide support for one another. But what about from the non-traditional standpoint; is marriage any easier?
As the interviews became more diverse, the question arose about how males perceived themselves amongst their fellow peers when saying “I do” before receiving their degree. While the fellow student asked not to be revealed, he did, however, comment: “The only strangeness I experience is the age difference with my classmates.”
What about the support system offered to married students compared to nonmarried students? Casey Powell commented that while she prefers not to use her personal life as an excuse not to finish her work: “The professors in the sociology department are very understanding in general…I’m sure I could talk to my professors if I wanted to discuss my struggles.” College and marriage are significant endeavors, both of which come with their fair share of struggles. This is something that one’s professors could relate to, as they might also be married.
In a continuation to ascertain the non-traditional perspective on marriage, I asked about the average day of married college students. Surely their mornings are different than non-married students. For Sophia Jeffery, on a day to day, balancing academics and marriage can often “feel like a job with taking homework.” Starting off her mornings with her children, Sophia wakes up at six a.m every morning to make sure her kids are ready for the bus stop before arriving for her classes. Once the day gets out, Sophia enjoys quality family time with her children and husband before spending the night working on homework with her husband who is also pursuing a degree.
While marriage in college comes with its definite concerns and difficulties, those who do choose this path wouldn’t change their decisions for the world. No matter your current state in life, the ability to find your true love is a genuinely miraculous event. As you are never too young or old to attend university, marriage is the same way. When you know, you know.