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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Young marriage: Not so crazy

    I am what the enrollment office of the University of Arizona would call a non-traditional student. I like to hope that I am relatively normal, but alas, a little “”event”” a year and a half ago changed that.

    I’m married.

    And happy, thank you very much.

    Listening to some of my closest friends before my wedding, you would have thought I was making the worst mistake of my life.

    Apparently, I was far too young to know what I was doing, and far too na’ve to think that I could balance school and a husband.

    They thought I would give up on my education and make babies while barefoot in the kitchen.

    Planning my wedding was frustrating because everywhere I would go, whether trying on my dress or picking invitations, someone would invariably comment that I was too young to get married.

    The lady hemming my dress asked if I was 16 yet. For the record, I was 20.

    Common supposition is that people under 25 do not know enough about themselves to make an intelligent decision regarding a life partner. They say that you will change and grow apart and add to the high number of divorces in this country.

    Scientific research used to suggest that women who married young were unlikely to finish their higher education. Women who did pursue a degree and a career were unlikely to marry at all because they postponed their personal lives to gain professional ones.

    This attitude is still very prevalent, even though the reality is changing. It is no longer the 1970s, though. More than 30 years later, ideas about educated women have changed.

    Women who go to college are very likely to get married eventually, according to Norval Glenn, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin in an article for the Daily Bruin.

    Also, according to Glenn, “”People that are married actually tend to do better in school.””

    It is refreshing to finally have something to back up my suspicions about the benefits of married life as a student, besides my own experiences.

    Does that mean that my husband forbidding me to procrastinate helped me get better grades? Probably. Being forced to be responsible in financial areas like bill paying, credit management, taxes and getting a mortgage may have leaked over into other areas of my life.

    I believe that having someone by your side who is committed to going through life with you, and having to be by their side in return, can form a very stable environment for schoolwork.

    You want to succeed, not only for yourself, but also for your partner who is rooting for you as well.

    Another thing I can be happy about: My husband and I are actually less likely to divorce.

    Steve Mintz, co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families and a sociology professor at the University of Houston said college-educated couples stay married longer than those who are not, according to the Daily Bruin.

    Mintz said, “”In a world where half the marriages end in divorce, people aren’t just marrying for the moment anymore. They’re trying to determine how it will sustain. Whether you’re likely to grow together has grown more important.””

    It makes sense, in a backwards sort of way. My friends told me I would change and grow apart from my husband, but perhaps the point is to change and grow together.

    By postponing marriage, one can establish their individuality, but they may give up the ability to mesh lives and goals with someone else.

    If the point is to support each other along the journey, getting married young isn’t such a bad idea.

    Sure, it’s not for everyone; only 15 percent of college students across the country are married.

    But for some, it’s the right decision at the right time. Perhaps it’s time for a shift in perspective.

    Getting married in college can be beneficial and does not mean that a person is going to give up an education and future goals. It just means that person is going to share them with someone.

    Joyanna Jones is a journalism senior and wishes that college boys would learn to look for a wedding ring. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

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