I do's and papers due

By Shield Staff

At Rochester College, it seems as if more and more students are getting engaged or married while still in school. RC has marital dorms, making it easier for students to have a place to live while being married in college. As a Christian school, RC preaches that it is best to wait until marriage to have sex and live together. Is this why students are getting married at such a young age? Cole Swensen and Jordan Deane are two RC students who are married and still pursuing their bachelors’ degrees.

Jordan and his wife Olivia have been married for nine months. Jordan is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in mass communication, while his wife Olivia is graduated and working for RC. When asked if she had any reservations about getting married, Olivia said,  “I did a little, but I think they were lessened by the fact that we knew I would be graduated by the time we got married. Marriage is a partnership, and it was helpful to know that one of us would have more time to do practical things to keep our lives afloat (laundry, cooking, budgeting, etc.) while the other needed to be focused on school at the busiest times of the semester. I don’t mind doing those things at all because I know he’s working way harder than I am for our future by earning his degree while still working full-time.”

Being married in college means that one person has to take on other roles because the other partner is pursuing studies. Going to school can be a full time job in itself, but when you are married it's hard to not work and only go to school. Jordan works over 40 hours a week and is taking a full course load in order to help support his wife.

It sounds rather difficult to be married while still in school. Struggling to work, support your spouse and maintain the grades needed to graduate seems near to impossible. Jordan said, “Being with your best friend everyday is by far the best part while still in school. No matter how crazy and stressful my day has been, having the love of my life by my side through it all makes the battles worth it.”

Cole Swensen and his wife Sequoya have been married for almost two years. Cole was 21 when they got married and Sequoya was 19. Cole said that marrying his wife while still in school has pushed him to do better and focus more on his grades. “She helps me stay on track with my assignments and scheduling.  I don’t know if I would have gotten the grades I have gotten without her there to help me stay focused.”

In the millennial generation, couples have typically been getting married after they have graduated from college and developed a career. It seems though that Christians are marrying sooner. Cole said, “I think the fact that sex is so encouraged by the culture, and because the church pushes for sex to stay in the confines of marriage, Christian couples are basically expected to get married young.  There is a lot of pressure from the church body for young single people to find a potential spouse and get married. Instead of advocating people to be content with who they are as a single person and find fulfillment in Christ, the church seems to put pressure on single people to find a significant other and find fulfillment in them.”

Overall, these two couples seem to be happy and making school, work and marriage work! Cole said, “In my own life, I am glad I got married young.  Has it been a blessing to my life? Most definitely! Would I recommend it to everyone? No, it’s not something I would widely recommend. What I would recommend, however, is for people who are in a relationship to get to really know the person they are dating.  Marriage is exciting, and getting married young can work, but establishing a strong and healthy relationship should be the main focus. Wait for marriage until you are ready!”