Remember those MySpace days, when high school sweethearts would put their relationship status as “married”?
You’d see that and think, “Awe how cute. They must love each other.”
Times have changed. We’re older, wiser, in college, and on Facebook. But now when we see our friends change their relationship status to “married to…” our thoughts aren’t so innocent anymore. Are they kidding? Are the really married? Why wasn’t I invited? We’re only 19!
Now that we’re out of high school and at legal age to marry, it worries me that people are, actually, getting married. Of course, I respect a couple’s decision to tie the knot. I understand that there may be other factors pushing a young couple towards marriage. But ultimately, I don’t feel that getting married between the ages of 18 to 24 is an appropriate time in a young person’s life to settle down.
I feel that the ages of 18 to 24 are a very transitional time in a person’s life. To begin, most people aren’t mature enough to commit to the emotional and financial challenges, of which marriage at a young age would entail. An article from www.eHow.com said, “Studies conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and other research institutions have shown that most people reach a state of mental maturity at about age 25. Before that time, people make decisions based on emotions and instincts rather than on consequences and objective reasoning.”
This is a very crucial time in a person’s life where they experience a lot of change. During these ages, one will discover more about themselves, what they want to do, what kind of person they want to be, what they want out of life, what kind of person they would want to share their life wish… and the list would go on.
Some people go to college between the ages of 18 and 24. First, think about what typical college life at a four-year institution is imagined to be like. I’m sure most people immediately think about the parties, or the long hours of homework, or the different people they could meet. Now, imagine being married and being submerged in that lifestyle. With out a doubt, things would be more stressful and difficult.
Being married can limit a person in regards to the experiences they could have. If a person were married, he or she probably wouldn’t feel very comfortable with their husband or wife going out to parties and getting drunk every weekend. Or even if they went to parties together, they’re now on a different stepping-stone in life, than the rest of their friends. Marriage during these ages can also limit the people you meet or hang out with.
Furthermore, relationships during this aren’t always emotionally stable. If one is really stressed out or upset about something between him or her and their partner, do you think they’re going to want to study until 11 at night? Or work on that project? Or even start doing their homework, period? My guess is probably not.
Financial struggles affect a relationship. When your young and in college, money isn’t typically rolling in the bank. Some couples sacrifice education to fulfill financial needs. Looking at the big picture, they probably won’t ever make the amount of money they would have been capable of making, had they received their degree. Struggling financially is strenuous on any relationship. www.eHow.com also said, “Couples who marry during or directly after high school or college are often faced with greater financial difficulties due to fewer job options and other socioeconomic factors.”
Today the United States has a ridiculously depressing divorce rate. I feel that getting married between the ages of 18 and 24 can increase one’s chances of divorce, even more than they already statistically are. We’ve all heard stories about couples that’ve married young and still seem to keep that undying flame of passion for one another. It’s sweet story, but if you’d ask them, I’m sure they would admit that it was no walk in the park until they reached an older and more stable state.
My philosophy is to take it slow and not rush into anything. Take time to discover yourself. Create unforgettable memories and meet interesting people. Find out what you really want out of life and what kind of person you’d like to share it with. Being older, more mature, and capability of providing for oneself are solid factors for a steady and long-term marriage.