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I Do or I Don’t?

My fiancé and I will be getting married while we are both in college. Is it true young couples are more likely to split up?

Tying the knot is a life-changing decision, even more for those at college. Academic pressure can add to the stress of wedding planning, overwhelming many young people. Tread carefully, weddings are expensive and divorces are even more expensive.

All relationships are unique so the likelihood of breaking up depends on the couple. Society often frowns upon very young marriages and many advise waiting, at least until graduation. The average age to be wed is 28, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Planning a wedding, hiring a caterer and designing a cake takes times from your study schedule. The total expense can dwarf your student debt, with the average wedding costing around $35,000. Juggling marriage and study time could be stressful, especially at finals.

There are divorce misconceptions, but statistically you are more likely to get one if you marry at a younger age. Teens especially face a high risk of marriage breakup than those in their late twenties. Someone who marries at 25 is over 50% less likely to have a divorce than someone marrying at 20. Most young couples do not have the maturity to survive marital problems.

Parents may withhold their blessings, so be prepared for some resistance. They believe that completion of your education is more important. Early marriages can lead to dropping out of college and future poverty. Getting married will also establish your independence from your parents, perhaps financially too. If either one of you is still supported by parents, this is likely to change when you get married, as it will be your job to support each other.

Many college couples end up staying happily married for the rest of their lives. You will be able to support each other during testing times. College can be a lonely and stressful experience, so having a partner can ease the burden. Sharing younger memories and enjoying your achievements as a couple bonds your lives together.

For practicality, living together as a couple will save on expenses and many colleges offer financial aid to married students. Living costs for rent, utilities and groceries will be lowered. Federal student benefits are available to married couples and there are tax savings.

Even though the statistics are against you, many college couples still end up retiring together.

“Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce,” Voltaire.