Students begin to experience married life

Kyle Reynolds and Kyle Reynolds

Though the Census Bureau shows that people are getting married later in life, some University students have decided to take the trip to the altar before they even walk across the stage to get their diplomas.

Dan Moates, senior, and Rebecca Moates, junior, are among these students who got married during college.

After about three years of dating and a 14-month engagement, the couple walked down the aisle and said ‘I Do’ on Aug.13, 2005.

The lives of college students can be busy, and the Moates have found that being married makes life even more hectic. Classes, homework and jobs keep the two apart for most of the week.

‘Some weeks we only see each other when we go to bed,’ Rebecca said.

But they try to take a break from their crazy schedules on the weekends.

‘We try to catch up on the weekends, ideally we like to set aside some time where we can be together, like go out one night a week, maybe go out to dinner or something like that,’ Dan said.

On top of having to schedule time to spend together since they got married, they also have to deal with the new challenge of finances.

While most students rely heavily on their parents when it comes to finances, that isn’t the case for the Moates.

‘Once you become married you are officially recognized as no longer [being] financially dependent on your parents and you definitely have to adjust,’ Dan said. ‘But there are counterbalances, like financial aid recognizes there are two people in the household, both of whom are in school, so generally it balances out.’

Being financially independent wasn’t the only change they had to adjust to with marriage. Unlike some couples, the Moates didn’t live together until after their wedding. But a long engagement helped them prepare for the adjustment.

‘It’s important that we spent over a year engaged, we did engaged-couple conferences at our church and our relationship really developed to a point where there weren’t really significant changes,’ Dan said. ‘But one change is we hadn’t lived together before. It took some getting used to, but it was a natural progression instead of being a big leap, ‘

One thing that didn’t change much with marriage was their social life and relationships with their friends.

‘By the time we got married our social life was pretty consistent to the one we had in terms of our relationship had come to a point where we had been engaged for 14 months, so it wasn’t a sudden transition,’ Dan said.

Rebecca added, ‘It changed some dynamics – like now people view you as a married couple. We still go out to the bars every once and a while, sometimes together and sometimes separately. I actually think I’ve gone out more now than I used to, nothing against him.’

Senior Ryan Davis, who got married on July 16 to Amy Davis, said his college social life hasn’t changed much since his wedding either, just some of the people he hangs out with have.

He and Amy met during their high school years and dated for 6 years before getting married.

‘Before I was married I hung out with my roommates who have graduated since I got married, now, my wife and I usually hang out together with other married couples a lot. I hang out with some different people, but other then that things haven’t changed,’ Davis said.

Even though he got married at a young age his family and friends supported his decision.

‘My family and friends were supportive, my friends made some jokes about how I’d be with the same woman for the rest of my life, but they were supportive,’ Davis said.

Since they got married, their relationship has grown more and caused them to think about finances differently.

‘Getting married has made our relationship stronger by us living together all the time and we also had to start thinking financially together instead of as individuals,’ he said.

Unlike the Moates’ and Davis’, not everyone is ready to take the step toward marriage yet

Freshman Chris Daigneault has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for about a year and a half.

‘I’ve thought about marriage, but not in college. I wouldn’t get married in college, because I don’t think you are financially well-off in college and I think you do a lot of growing in college and that you aren’t the same person once you leave college as you are coming into college,’ Daigneault said.

Rebecca thought being married might be more difficult because they married in college, but that things have turned out better then she thought.

‘I became stressed out a couple of times because … I thought it might be harder getting married with financial things coming up, with being in college and trying to make ends meet,’ she said. ‘Planning a wedding is also hard too, but it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be.’