Over the past few years, Iâ€™ve started to notice couples are starting to marry at younger and younger ages. Now marrying age has fallen into the realm of college students, and the trend to marry young has hit Fresno State.
Last week, two upperclassman friends of mine got married. Two other couples I know got married last summer. The brides in both couples were 21 at the time. And it seems like every month, more and more of my friendsâ€™ sisters announce theyâ€™re engaged and start planning their weddings. Slowly but surely, for many college students, the question of â€œto marry, or not to marry?â€ is shifting to â€œto marry now or later?â€
For graduate student Lauren Lieder, who married a year ago at age 21, the decision to marry immediately following her completion of undergrad was a faith-based decision. â€œWe both prayed about it a lot, and realized that God was laying it out in front of us,â€ she said. â€œOur relationship was always very much based on faith.â€
Such successful marriages for those who marry before age 25 are few and far between. The National Institute of Mental Health and the UCLA Neuro-Imaging Laboratory conducted a study last year that determined that most people reach full intellectual maturity at age 25. The study held that teenagers and young adults make important decisions with underdeveloped parts of the brain, which explains why high school and college students are more likely to take bigger risks than most adults over 25.
Blogspot.com took a recent poll, with the results that about 3 percent of people in the United States think that the ages of 18-22 are the ideal ages to marry. Many studies have documented that couples who marry before age 20 are three times more likely to divorce than couples who marry in their late 20s and 30s. When it comes to financial matters, almost 30 percent of 18-22-year-olds are uninsured, and the rate is likely to go down if theyâ€™re married. Theyâ€™re also less likely to be well-educated. Overall, the statistics paint a pretty bleak picture.
However, young married couples I go to school with are unlike what the statistics portray. I know five married couples who are also students, and all of them are honors students who are either still working towards their bachelorâ€™s degrees or theyâ€™re in grad school. They all cite the faith they grew up with in the Central Valley as their main reason for choosing to marry young. Obviously, whoever conducted all those studies never met these kids.
When I started college a year ago, I didnâ€™t expect to meet so many people who would decide to marry as young as 21, or in one notable (and romantic) instance, 19. The irresistible pull of settling with someone special must be very tempting indeed, and many of my friends, who remain unmarried, are one by one starting to find the people they will eventually settle down with one day. This is college, after all. They do say this is when it starts to happen. So for those of you still looking for that special someone: Happy searching.