Love remains tradition for young adults

By Shannon Keough
February 12, 2009

Shannon Keough

Halfway through her first year of college, Katrina Hill found herself engaged to her boyfriend of two years.

Hill, now a senior biology-tech and mathematics major, was open to the idea of getting engaged this early because, “I knew him for a long time and I knew it would be hard for us because we’d be apart for a lot of the time [during the school year].”

While some people are very shocked by their young engagement. Hill said, “I think it really depends on how long you’ve known him because if you knew him for a long time, it’s OK to get engaged at any age.”

In the generations before now, it was uncommon for people to go to college. Instead, many would get married and start their families straight out of high school.

Now, with millions of students attending college, it’s often assumed that people will get their career started before even thinking about starting a family.

However, “It’s nice to be essentially starting your lives and careers together. It’s a great time to be with each other,” Hill said. She doesn’t believe that their young marriage will affect their professions because they aren’t going to start a family and they are both very “career-oriented.”

On their three-year anniversary, seniors Drew Pillar and Laura Hennessey also became engaged. “Family is way more important to me than making money. My happiness and family come first,” Pillar, social work major, said. Since Pillar helped raise his own siblings at a young age, he said, “I feel like I matured early.”

“Knowing the relationship we have, I don’t think we’re too young,” Hennessey, biology major, said. A big part of why they decided to get married soon after graduation is because they vowed not to live together until marriage and with them living in separate states, a long engagement would be difficult.

Often times, people decide to marry earlier because that’s what their parents did. Pillar and Hill’s parents got married at a young age; however, Hennessey’s parents did not and were hesitant at first about the decision. Because her mother rushed into her first marriage, she told her to, “Take your time, know you’ve made the right decision; don’t get married too young and make a mistake.”

How can anyone, though, afford to get married as a recent college graduate, especially with the economy the way it is?

Hill admitted to looking for bargains wherever they can. In fact, she bought a custom-made dress on eBay for $9.89, with a $150 shipping and handling charge. In addition, she has talented friends that will play a big part in saving money; a cake decorator, musicians for the ceremony and a disc jockey for the reception.

However, by no means is it easy to pay for a wedding. Pillar and Hennessey claimed that the financial aspect of getting married is the biggest disadvantage.

Fortunately, Hennessey’s parents are very traditional and pay for their daughters’ weddings. If not, they said they would probably just get married in a court.

In the midst of getting ready to graduate, when is there time to plan a wedding?

They all confessed that it’s an overwhelming process. Between applying to grad schools, looking for jobs, finding a place to live, general schoolwork and planning a wedding, it’s a lot to handle, but they are taking it, “One step at a time,” Pillar said.

It isn’t all bad though. For Hill, the biggest advantage is, “Having a stable relationship because you’ve made the commitment and you can rely on that person always being there for you and supportive of you.”

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Shannon Keough

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