Balancing school, work, sports and social activities is difficult for most students, but for several Witt students, the added bonus of planning their weddings and futures with their spouses is the icing on the cake. While few students decide to begin the adventure of marriage while still in college, four brave Witt students describe what affected their decisions to enter into wedded and engaged bliss before getting their college diplomas.
Love. The most common answer when asked why these newly wedded or engaged students chose the path they did. “I’m debt-free, good career choices are on the horizon, she’s five years older than me and is a real jack-of-all-trades superwoman, and most importantly, I love her,” said senior Nick Steiner about his decision to marry wife, Sophie.
Recently engaged senior Rachel Wigton said of her fiancé, “Caleb is my best friend, which definitely had a huge impact upon my decision to be engaged in college. Caleb is my first love and has been my biggest supporter ever since we started dating.”
Besides being positive they were in love with their future spouses, students gave a few other reasons for getting married in college. According to senior Stephanie Springer who was recently married, “It’s cheaper getting married in the winter and I couldn’t get released to live off campus unless I was married so I thought, why wait?”
Senior Julianne Lininger, who has been with husband Brian for five years and married for eight months, lists another reason behind her decision to marry in college: “Brian and I were very committed to our future together. We were ready to be living together but we felt it would be best for us to be married before living together. So we decided to get married.”
While some students may believe being married or engaged in college is a big change from just being in a relationship, Lininger and Wigton insist there is little difference. “My husband is very supportive and understanding of my school obligations, meetings and friends so I don’t feel that being married has changed my status as a student at Witt,” said Lininger. “I am still able to be a student and a wife.”
According to Wigton, whose wedding is set for July 16 of this year, “I still hang out with my roommates and friends just as much. I guess I would say the biggest difference would be what I have to look forward to after graduation.”
For Springer, being engaged was more difficult than actually being married. “A lot of my professors would give me a hard time for being engaged, but now that I’m married they leave me alone.” Springer, who has been with her husband for two and a half years, said the biggest challenge about being married is schedule differences. “My husband works nine to five and has nothing to do when he gets home, and I have homework and group meetings at nights.”
Lininger, who now lives with her husband in an off-campus apartment, identified the new commute to school as the biggest difference between being a regular student and a married one. “I lived on campus my first three years at Witt, and now I have about a four minute commute. I would say the commuting and driving to school is the biggest difference.”
The newly wed or engaged students had a few words of wisdom for other students planning to get engaged or married while in college. Wigton advised, “Make sure first and foremost, you know who you are as an individual” while Lininger stressed, “Take a pre-marital counseling course!”
Steiner, whose wife currently lives in Vietnam, had advice for other students in long-distance relationships: “Between cheap call plans and yahoo messenger, we usually communicate at least twice a day. Communication is very important.”
Debating whether to get married or engaged while still in college? As Wigton put it: “To me it wasn’t a matter of being in college or not, it was that I was sure he is who I want to spend the rest of my life, and why wait when you know for sure?”
Already engaged, and over whelmed with balancing school and wedding planning? “I aspire to have my career in event management and planning,” said Lininger. “If anyone is planning their wedding and would like to talk to someone who has gotten married during college, I would be more than willing to talk with them and share my experiences!”
Being engaged or married while still in college may seem like a daunting task, but take it from these four that it is well worth it when you’ve found the love of your life.
(Stephanie Sodders / email@example.com)