I met my soon-to-be husband my first semester at university. We got married at the end of my second. Crazy, right? Or so some people think. But I had already played the dating game with enough guys to know what I wanted (or didn’t want) in my husband. I was also farther ahead in other life decisions already that I felt marriage was the next step for me.
For the most part people were very supportive of me and my decision to get married young—I met him when I was 17 and got married at 18. Though of course some people worried about things like, do you really know him well enough after only 7 months to get married? or aren’t you too young to be making that decision? or will you even finish college?
I tested out of high school at 15. I started college at 16. I started working full-time at 16. I started university at 17. Sure I was young, but the question is not about age, it is about maturity. I am very much a type A personality. Organized, perfectionist, an achievement-oriented person. I have been that way for the majority of my lifetime. A lot of it was shaped by the circumstances I grew up in—and as a result I matured quicker than most do. I knew what I wanted and went for it.
Seven months is indeed a short time to know someone before getting married. But have you ever heard that cliché saying, “When you know, you know.” Well I have to admit that was the case for me and my husband. I had dated enough to know that this time it was different. He was different.
Seven months was enough time for us to get to know each other before sealing the deal. Did we know everything about each other? Obviously no, we are still learning new things about each other every day. But we knew each other well enough at the time to feel comfortable getting married. We figured we could handle whatever else came our way after getting married. We had faith in each other and still do!
Marriage is tough. My husband and I have seen too many people give up on their marriages because of that. But the fact is, it will have its ups and downs no matter who you marry. No one is perfect and therefore no marriage is either. So we have made it a point to always stick together and make it work. It takes effort, selflessness, and a lot of love—but it is well worth it when at the end of the day you have your best friend by your side.
I’m not trying to get sappy with this post. I just want to make a point.
People mature at different paces. We are all ready for certain stepping stones of life at various times, and that is perfectly okay. I am happy with the choices I have made in my life and the path that I am currently on.
Now, onto how marriage affects college… my marriage was probably the best thing for my education! Let me tell you, it is much easier to focus when you only have one roommate rather than seven. My GPA increased as a result of being married, though that is really just a correlation and not causation. I am sure there are some who go the opposite direction—but getting married won’t make you go one way or the other. It is all by choice!
I had some who worried I wouldn’t finish college because we might choose to have children early on in marriage. It just so happens that we did not—we made the choice together before getting married that we would wait until I finished school to start a family because it was important to both of us that I obtain a great education. So we waited. But even if we hadn’t, who cares? Whose business is it but our own on when we have children?
Stop listening to the judgments of others and look for confirmation in the right places. No route is perfect for everyone.