Most students at Florida A&M University are aware that the social scene is a unique aspect of college life. Meeting new people and forming long term relationships are important parts of the overall college experience. In fact many students use college as an opportunity to pursue serious romantic relationships and find potential spouses. This trend however, has significantly declined in recent years.
Students at FAMU say most people are not interested in pursuing serious relationships when they begin college. Bryan Mitchell, 20, a junior theater performance student from Miami, said students are usually more focused on personal growth and exploring new things when they come to college.
“At this age we are adjusting to making the transition into adulthood and living without restrictions,” Mitchell said. “People may begin to search for that special one around junior year because that’s when they begin thinking about life after college.”
Shenita White, 20, a junior accounting student from Chipley, Fla., said college men and women are on different accords when entering relationships. According to White, many young women in today’s society are taught that college is an excellent place to find a potential husband.
“When I came to FAMU I did expect to find my future husband, I don’t feel that way anymore,” White said. “But I do think college is a good place to find a mate because you meet so many people with similar goals and ambitions.”
Scott Ford, a visiting sociology professor from Brooklyn, N.Y., agrees that college is a good place for people to pursue long-term relationships.
“This is one of the better places to search for a mate,” Ford said. “In the college context you see a greater variety and are more likely to meet people who are more stable and committed.”
Ford also said that although college is an appropriate environment many students at the undergraduate level have not reached the maturity level to commit to marriage.
“The majority of college-age students today are not prepared as much as they were at one time,” he said. “I think a 20-year-old today is less mature than 20-year-olds were two or three generations ago.”
Statistically speaking, marriages at a younger age are more vulnerable and likely to dissolve for various reasons.” Ford added.
According to the Americans Divorce Reform, early marriage is a key predictor of later divorce. Nearly half of people who marry under the age of 18, and 40 percent of people who marry under the age of 20, end up in divorce.
Additionally, people who marry between the ages of 23 and 27 are much less likely to divorce.
“I hate to see people rush into marriage, have it end because they weren’t ready,” White said. “People need to take into consideration everything a marriage requires before making that commitment.”
Students also say that because there are so many things to experience in college, people should not make marriage a priority.
“Just being in a relationship is stressful enough when you’re trying to balance participating in campus activities and organizations and so forth,” Mitchell said. “I think students should leave their options open, enjoy their college life, and if it happens, it happens.”
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