When I joined the Eastern community in 2017, I was a wide-eyed and excited eighteen-year-old with ambitions in politics and changing the world. I would galivant across campus with my new college friends, caking on makeup and hunting for a husband. We rambled on about our
dream man; hoping that by the end of our four years, we would find our forever.
Coming to the end of my time at Eastern, many things have changed; I no longer have bright red hair and horn-rimmed glasses. I traded in my political pursuits for a career in journalism. I learned that while finding mister right is a life goal, it is not a goal that I am ready for yet, and I learned that through a lived experience that changed my world.
I met my first love in March of my freshman year. He was kind and understanding, and he had a similar “ring by spring” mentality as I did due to his career in the US Navy. Only a month into our relationship we began talking about baby names and the timeline of our engagement. At nineteen, I thought I had met the love of my life, and I thought I’d be married at twenty-one.
The relationship ended a few months after it began. It took me twice the length of my relationship to heal from the heartbreak. In the three years since that relationship, I have learned so much about myself and what I need from a relationship.
I look back at that experience fondly, but I cannot help but cringe. I was rushing into a situation because of the pressure of our social circles; mine being Eastern’s, and his being the military. During one’s college years, there is so much to learn about the world and who we are as individuals.
While I am grateful for the love I had at nineteen, I would not be where I am today if I had stayed in that mindset. I learned to love myself and grew stronger without a man by my side. I know now what I want in a partner, but I am in no way ready to buckle down and get married.
I have thrived on my own and I am still learning and growing. I have decided that before I find the man of my dreams, I should be financially independent and have a foot in the door with my career.
If you are feeling the pressure of the “ring by spring mentality” to settle down, please know that you are not alone. Do not give into this pressure for any reason; make sure that the person you say “yes” to is your forever. We all have doubts, but the love should always outweigh those doubts.
Do not be afraid to find yourself before finding your life partner. We as college students are so young and have so much time. Take advantage of your youth and live your life for yourself. You have the rest of your life to find love.