The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

I Think I Do

SMU/Domenica Fuller
Perkins Chapel is a popular site for SMU students to wed.

Perkins Chapel is a popular site for SMU students to wed. (SMU/Domenica Fuller)


Spring is here and what is more fashionable right now than an engagement ring? Exclusive students are having the opportunity this season to contribute to this infamous southern trend.

“The trend [now] is for people to marry later and to have children later . . . people are living longer, so we have a longer period and therefore more time to excel at certain culturally expected things” said Dr. Mary Anne Reed, a marriage and family therapist.

A survey conducted on campus indicated that 40 percent of SMU women would consider getting married after graduation if they were in a committed relationship. The majority of these women were from the South or the Midwest. This group of women also grew up in a hometown where it was common to get married at an earlier age. The 50 percent of women who did not want to get married until their upper 20s, were in pursuit of a career or postgraduate studies.

However, there is a lot to consider when a couple gets married after graduation. Job placement is a significant factor when getting married after college. Also, after being a full-time student for four years housing, car, and wedding expenses have to begin to be taken into the equation as a married couple.

“You both have to be able to be financially independent from your parents and financially able to support a future together, [but] it makes sense financially if you are going to be in a relationship and if you aren’t in the dorms anymore to combine your rent and bills” said Nayra Salamanca, a junior who is currently in a serious relationship.

According to Dr. Reed, the human brain does not fully mature until the middle of your 20s. Because of this, Dr. Reed does not believe 22 years old can handle the commitment and responsibility that comes with marriage. Certain students on campus seem to hold the same opinion.

“In my personal opinion you aren’t mature enough to have the amount of responsibility until you have grown a little more,” said current junior Ali Anwar, “right after graduation, you are still a college kid. You want to be out in the real world for five or six years until you are 26 or 27. Then, when you have an idea what the real world is like you should get married.”

Although there are extreme views on campus in regards to this topic, there are two main factors that drive people’s decision to get married out of college:  where you are originally from and when your parents got married.

“I could definitely see myself getting married out of college because my parents did,” said SMU senior Andrew Ardnt.

Selecting an ideal age to get married seems to also be common among SMU students. The college culture almost expects students to map out their twenties.

“I always heard people say that I should get married earlier or much later in life. I think it puts pressure on you when you do choose an ideal age to get married. I feel like my situation is unique because we have been close friends for seven years,” said Allison Talbot, a senior who is engaged.

Both originally from Austin, Allison and her fiancé are deciding to move back after graduation to settle down together. Their story could be your typical romantic comedy: a girl and a boy stay friends for six years, then one day they realize that they both have feelings for each other. Allison is currently working hard on planning the “happily ever after” portion of the story. Although she is looking for a job with insurance agencies in Austin, her fiancé will have a job working for a bank. Coming from a Southern upbringing it isn’t surprising to her family that she is getting married at 22 years old.

“My parents were fairly young when they got married too. I [also] think it definitely has to do with the culture that is in the South. There is a lot more emphasis on the family aspect of things, rather than just careers. I think religion plays into it a lot. A lot of people who are religion put an emphasis on marriage and family, and therefore people who are religious date to find that right person, rather than just dating around,” said Allison.

Religion also seems to play a large role into whether a person would consider getting married at a younger age. In Christianity, being “impure” before marriage is considered a sin. This is a significant factor to consider for couples that are trying to remain pure in their walk with God.

“I just think statistically we are in the Bible Belt, so there are more religious based marriages here than in the Northeast where the lifestyle might be more career based,” Salmanca said.


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