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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Don’t fret over feeling forever alone

    A+man+and+woman+hold+hands+at+their+home+in+Tucson+on+Tuesday.+During+college%2C+many+students+feel+pressured+to+get+engaged+or+married+by+spring+semester.%26%23160%3B
    Baraha Elkhalil

    A man and woman hold hands at their home in Tucson on Tuesday. During college, many students feel pressured to get engaged or married by spring semester. 

    You will die alone. 

    Is this your reaction when your Facebook feed updates engagement and wedding photos and pesky “in a relationship” status updates? 

    Unfortunately, friends, family and your Beyoncé-enthusiast grandma might have reasons other than ignorance and senility when asking why no one likes you enough to “put a ring on it.” 

    Ring by Spring is an old adage describing a “plan” to meet your future spouse your fall semester of college and be engaged by spring. Assuming society has overcome this sorely outdated notion is willfully allowing yourself to be blind to the truth. 

    Peter Chin, a writer for Christianity Today, said marriage has become an idol for many people who aren’t told the value of one’s single status.

    Ring by Spring is widely thrust upon young college women associated with religious colleges but is still found at the UA.

    Cassidy Blumenthal, a journalism sophomore, said she felt old when a 19-year-old friend posted engagement photos on Facebook. 

    Pressure to be in a serious relationship in college abounds. The bubble of a university fueled by immaturity, parties and newfound freedom doesn’t make for wise decisions, but the wisest decision of your life, whether to marry or not, is expected by many to occur during these years. Some professors begin each semester with a prophecy about students meeting future spouses in class.    

    “Everyone says college is when you’re supposed to find who you’re supposed to marry, so I have my dad on my case already,” Blumenthal said, adding that her dad believes if she found a nice Jewish boy, he could help her figure out her life. 

    Episcopal Chaplain Ben Garren of the Campus Christian Center explained that single women face a level of ostracization within the church that men don’t. 

    “Sadly, so many people identify the value of a woman based upon if she is attached to a man versus a man is able to stand alone,” Garren said.

    There is no place to hide from the incessant marriage question, either; nearly every country, culture and religion has some variation of this marriage mentality. 

    “There is a strong cultural push for people [in] almost all cultures, but especially in the Korean community, to get married,” Chin said. 

    Busra Akcabozan, a Turkish graduate student, said Eastern countries like Turkey view marriage as the most important union of all. 

    “Your social environment, your friends, the culture expect you to be married,” Akzabozan said. 

    The Chinese government created programs intended to negatively stigmatize unmarried women to sway them from their education and career to marry and balance the overpopulated male gender. China calls women who put marriage on the sidelines “Sheng nu,” or “leftover women.” 

    Mackenzie Skodiak, a junior studying information sciences, technology and arts, said her church struggles to create a welcoming environment for single people older than the college age group.

    Konden Smith, a religious studies assistant professor, said the single life isn’t a commonly held life plan within Mormonism, and that the pressure to marry is strongly put on women. Separate wards within the Mormon Church are designated for singles to find a proper spouse and, when they do, they are accepted back into the family ward.

    Ring by Spring adds additional pressure to the pressure cooker of university life, distracting from education, personal goals and discovering one’s identity. An assignment deadline is the only time frame to adhere to; otherwise, putting love on a timetable is sure to leave you eating your feelings this Valentine’s Day.

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    Follow Anna Mae Ludlum on Twitter.

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