Couples in college: Married life as an OU student

Emily Morris, Staff Intern

“‘But you’re turning into an old maid right before my eyes.’‘OhmyGod!’ I shrieked.

‘I can’t believe you just said that.  I am not an old maid.

‘Now, see there. I didn’t say you were. I said you were on your way to becoming one.  

Face it. You’ll be seventeen in what…?’ ‘Six months,’ I say. ‘And?’”

—Amir Abrams, Chasing Butterflies

Many are familiar with the countless classic stories that wholeheartedly encourage marrying at the brim of adult or the quintessential college age.

Although many stories now romanticize this fairytale setup, countless college students across the country still face this challenge. Some college students are ready to take the leap into marriage while simultaneously leaping into college. According to a 2013 study from the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of unmarried Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 deem themselves unprepared for marriage, either because of youth or financial stability. However, the remaining 41 percent simply devote their marital status to “not finding what their looking for.”

Regardless, some Oakland University students actually have combined the chiming of our famed Elliot Tower’s bells with classic church bells. But the elephant in the room, of course, is why get married now? In fact, it’s quite apparent—love. Love was the number one reason to be married, ahead of commitment and companionship, in Pew’s 2013 survey.

“We’ve always been on the same page and knew that as soon as we can [get married], we will, because we love each other, and there’s no point in putting a hold on making it all official,” said Kate Vibert, a soon-to-be married freshman at OU.

Despite love taking such a role in the whim of young marriage, some students have reported a similar feat to maintaining a juggling act between classes, careers and marriage. Moreover, the average college student already is only allotted around four hours each day for leisure time, according to a study conducted by the American Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015. College is known to be a melting pot of education and forming crucial connection, but this process is entirely reinvented for married or engaged college students because, naturally, they’ve already formed their most intimate connection. Hence, being a married college student can present a need to reevaluate time and necessities.     

“It was my choice to go to college… but I had to try extra hard to not make it an inconvenience on my family,” said OU alumna Dayna Harper of her college experience as a married student.

Modern views of ensured stability are reshuffling the timeless tale of falling in love and immediately getting married. In fact, over 90 percent of young adults believe that education should precede marriage, according to The Knot Yet Report, but some are still inclined to embark on a traditional route of building your life with a partner first.

Clearly, love cannot always be connected to a correct time, so love can be continually being redefined by each love story that happens before, within and after Oakland.