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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    In college, don’t hurry to find Mr. Right

    The number of women in the United States who graduate from college now exceeds the number of men. The days of attending a university to only get an MRS degree are, as they should be, well behind us. Yet, Susan Patton, a 1977 alumna of Princeton University, recently wrote a guest column in The Daily Princetonian telling “the daughters [she] never had” to “find a husband on campus before you graduate.”

    In fact, her editorial urges freshman women to immediately begin their hunt for Princeton men because “by the time you are a senior, you basically have only the men in your own class to choose from, and frankly, they now have four classes of women to choose from.”

    According to a 2011 study by Purdue University, more than half of college students change their major before they graduate. If college students can’t even decide what to study for four years, who says we’re ready to pick a spouse at 18?

    Patton claims “the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry.” Naturally, your spouse will have a huge impact on your future happiness, yet that isn’t the only place happiness comes from.

    Princeton undergraduates are bright, driven and full of goals and aspirations — that’s how they wound up in an Ivy League school to begin with. Establishing connections, getting involved with research and internships and excelling in their classes will help guide Princeton women closer to satisfaction of accomplishing their goals.

    But doing all of this while actively searching for Mr. Right seems like a lot for 18 year olds to take on.

    Even if these women can find a husband while working toward achieving their goals, the National Survey of Family Growth conducted a study in 2011 that showed 64.2 percent of women who get married under the age of 25 will end up divorced, while 30 percent of women who get married between the ages of 25 and 39 will get divorced.

    The trend is similar for men, and suggests that waiting to marry until you’re established in a career will, on average, make women happier in their marriages than marrying right out of college.

    College is still a natural place to meet your future spouse, but there’s no hurry. Women shouldn’t feel pressured to scoop up a man before it’s too late.

    “Never again [will Princeton women] have this concentration of men who are worthy of you,” Patton said in her argument. By worthy, she is referring to a man’s intellect and of course, his elite education. Yet Princeton’s admission standards aren’t exactly synonymous with what makes a good spouse.

    If you start considering how desirable a man is based on his high school grades, standardized tests scores, involvement in extracurricular activities and ability to write a good admissions essay, you’re reducing admissions counselors to nothing more than a bunch of matchmakers.

    There is nothing wrong with considering a person’s level of intellect when thinking about marriage. And of course, no one should ever settle, which is exactly why students should be encouraged to follow their dreams and career ambitions while in college without being pressured into actively searching for a spouse.

    — Nathaniel Drake is a sophomore studying political science and communications. He can be reached at or Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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