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Student couples are getting engaged for the wrong reasons

I often find myself hearing about undergraduates who are engaged, or seeing a girl wearing an engagement ring who doesn’t even look old enough to drink. I used to believe a wedding was a rite of passage—a transition into adulthood, the opening act of the most significant chapter of life.

Unfortunately, it seems like young people with ulterior motives are undermining the whole concept of marriage.

It seems that students are getting married not out of love, but because the ceremony suggests a sense of maturity. It’s as if the marriage label automatically makes them think they are more mature and legitimate as a couple. Wear a ring and you are among the elite romantics—the lucky ones who get to hear the classic “Honey, I’m home!” every day and go to fancy dinners exclusive to married couples.

It all sounds great in theory. But this maturity is often an illusion. Maturity might be determined by career status, life experience, and self-awareness—but it’s not definitely not determined by a legal title. Considering the fact that nearly half of all marriages in Canada end in divorce, I have to wonder if early marriage contributes to that depressing statistic. Full involvement in higher education gives us more than ample opportunity to establish our identity, independent from our relationship status. We need to use university life to our full advantage before tackling the inevitable turbulence of married life. Unfortunately, far too many people realize this after the fact.