So, as I've said in a ton of different posts, my college is a very small, private school...it's the kind of place where you know who is a new student because you've never seen their face around campus before. People you don't know say hi to you, or at the very least smile at you on the path while you're heading to class (which 3 years in I still haven't gotten used to...I guess from being a biotchy Jersey girl). I don't mind the smaller environment, it's very comfortable to me considering that I graduated with a class of 32 from my super small private high school.
After coming out of rehab just a few years prior to applying for college, and getting caught up in the typical teenage lifestyle of partying too much on weekends, my parents said without saying that they would prefer me going to a private religious college. I think they felt it would make them sleep better at night.
Being in this environment is very tough for me at times, because my family is not the typical religious family - my parents are highly liberal and very involved with crusading for gay rights, the pro-choice movement, and are strong Democrats (which I actually think is very cool because they don't care how other members of the religious community view them). Anyway, being instilled with those types of beliefs from my parents causes me to butt heads with quite a few people at school (though I've never been one to push my opinion onto others), and sometimes when I see things that are going on at my school, it still blows my mind.
Some of the kids at my school have been so unbelievably sheltered that I really feel that while their parents were trying to protect them, they did more harm than good. From what I've seen at school, these kids go one of two ways - they rebel so hard against everything their parents have protected them from, and spend the next four years passing out at parties, getting arrested for underage drinking, doing crazy amounts of drugs, sleeping with a bagillion people and getting a terrible reputation, and all but fail out of class OR they become their parents, and ostracize and alienate anyone who is different from them and what they believe.
There are of course the people in the middle (like moi, thank you very much), who can go out and have fun without getting crazy, and still make it to classes in the morning with their homework done (I know, I'm a nerd).
Anyway, I say all this to talk about something that I just can't get over that occurs with 75% of the population at my school.
A good percentage of the kids at my school have never dated anyone before (seriously, that's not a judgment, I've actually asked a ton of people). They come to college, meet someone and have never had those butterflies for someone before, so they assume that it is a sign from God that they should marry this person. By spring of freshman year, after eight months of dating, they're sporting a .0009 carat rock on their hand and making their wedding plans. Some opt for long engagements that will occur a few months after graduation, while others rush and want to get married December of the following year.
I'm going to make a guesstimate that 80% of the student population is in a relationship currently, and 75% of those are serious enough that they are planning/are going to get married. One of my roommates C is one of these people - she is 20 and her fiance is 19, and they are getting married in (according to her Facebook status which is updated daily) 456 days...approximately two weeks after we graduate.
When I asked C how she felt about getting married SO freaking young, she insisted to me that it was just right, and that when you are a good and honorable person, you'll be blessed and find your soulmate. To that I wanted to reply "Eff you," because that would obviously mean I am neitehr good or honorable. But in all seriousness, most kids at this school get engaged around age 19 (though a decent percentage have called it off eventually...suckerrrs), which to me is just so, so young. I don't know, maybe I need to get up with the times or something and I'm missing out on some fabulous new phenomenon.
Being at this school makes me feel so isolated from the real world sometimes... last week I was feeling tres upset because I am hopelessly single without any good options, and the majority of my friends are in relationships and are seriously talking with their boyfriends/girlfriends about marriage in the near future.
Last year it definitely bothered me a lot more than this year...I've learned to be more independent, I have more time for myself which is always nice, and I feel like now I know that I don't have to define myself by what any man thinks (that sounds so feministic, but I really do wear a bra and I don't hate men!). I think that C is always doing things to try and impress her fiance or make him find her more attractive...she always feels the need to be something MORE, and I honestly don't think she has a very clear idea of who she is without him. So as lonely as I feel when most of my friends are out with their boyfriends/girlfriends I guess it's definitely great that I know who I am.
When I told C that marriage is not my first priority for college, and that my education came first before seeking out a soulmate, her eyes popped out of her head and she said, "Well, don't you want to be married?" I replied that of course I did, but that I just turned 21...I'm just now allowed to go into a bar and have a cocktail...am I really ready to settle down? I told her that I don't care when I get married, even if it's at 30 or 35 (to which I honestly thought she was going to have a heart attack...I mean, the horrors of actually being single til 30?! Unheard of!). When she looked at me with what I call "judging eyes," she told me that I should probably start looking for someone right away before it becomes "too late." Apparently 21 is just cutting it wayyy too close to collecting forty eight cats and living in a one bedroom with my gay best friend for the rest of my life. Ugh.
Well, that was on my mind today...I had a very lazy, snow day and lots of thoughts running through my mind, so I apologize!
P.S. My stupid car got a flat on Saturday night and I did NOT know how to change it. So I left my car in the parking lot, and called a friend to pick me up and take me home (I have very nice friends). Let's just say that my dad was NOT pleased about my car being left somewhere because of a "stupid, easy to fix flat tire" so he and my mom went and picked it up (and he changed the tire) and now once all this snow melts he and I are going to have a "stop being a baby training 101" and I have to learn how to change a tire.
I guess I do rely on men for quite a few things still :)
I hope you all enjoyed today, especially everyone who had off from school because of the snow!