Point Counter-Point: Should students get married while they are still in college?
March 29, 2016
College students, awash in their newly-minted adultness, feel as though they can take on the world. Some even feel that they are grown up enough to consider marriage while still being a student. At this point in your life, when you think of marriage, do you hear ‘dum, dum, da-dum’ or ‘dun, dun, dun?’ Read on to see which way our columnists lean.
A traditional college student is, in my experience and opinion, generally not mature or smart enough to make such a lifelong commitment or decision.
I’m not saying college students are stupid; a lot of them work really hard and get good grades and are smart, well-rounded individuals.
But they lack life experience. And real world experience. And they are, at most, 22!
Marriage should not be taken lightly. I’d like to think it’s something you do once after much consideration when you’re a real adult with some actual life experience beyond a college campus.
Is this realistic? No. But neither is getting married at 20, having no clue what you are going to do or how you are going to support yourself – basically being a clueless college student.
If you honestly think you are responsible, mature and adult enough to take the plunge, then by all means, do so, but honestly, why rush it? Why are you in such a hurry to tie yourself to another person for, presumably, the rest of your life?
You’ve got a lot going on: classes and work and studying and, hopefully, enjoying your college years. Why would you want to add more stress to that with planning and having a wedding?
While I consider myself to be a pretty decent level of adult, I know there is no way I am ready to get married at this stage of my life. I am far too busy with school and focused on getting ready to graduate to even consider another person like I’d like to think I would if I were so entangled.
But for those of you who think you’ve got the relationship game on lock and are ready for that next step despite still being a student, I caution you in your choice.
How are you going to pay for a wedding? And where are you going to live, in your separate dorms? Or are you going to find an apartment of your own? With what money? Have you even lived with that person, the two of you, alone, yet?
Take the time to seriously think it over. Give it a year, post-college, living in the real world.
As for me, I think I’ll just stay blissfully unattached for the next long while.
Society has us thinking that we have to finish college and then we can get married and finally have children. Even the idea of getting married before graduation makes people roll their eyes, claiming that you are ‘too young.’
But why make love wait? Why can’t we get married while also being a student?
One argument suggests that students do not have enough money to get married. How can you bare to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding when you don’t have a stable job and are still taking out student loans?
But getting married while still in college can actually save you money, and can minimize your student loan debt.
According to Careermeh.com, married couples are considered independent from their parents, which no longer requires you to report your parents’ income on your FAFSA. Since most college students make a small chunk of money on the side, income is next to nothing. Overall, you can save thousands with the increased help of financial aid.
If you are engaged, why wait so long to get married? You obviously know you want to marry the other, so just do it!
And who needs an extravagant wedding? They are overrated and, honestly, tacky. Just grab your family, friends and whoever you feel necessary, grab a white sundress, find a church that is willing to host and get married. I’m a fan of barn weddings with DIY decorations myself.
Avoiding marriage in college may seem as if you are pushing back the stress that goes into planning a wedding to a time where you don’t need to worry about school, but it’s really not.
With graduation (hopefully) comes a full time job, with full time responsibilities. You need to move off of campus or potentially out of your parents’ house, you need to figure out your life. Then you would have the stress of starting a new marriage and new jobs at the same time.
Many of our parents and especially grandparents got married while they were young. But let’s be rational, don’t rush into marriage if you are not ready for it. But if the time is right for both of you, don’t be scared to put a ring on it.