Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 4:59:46 PM
I didn’t realize turning 22 also meant graduating from college in May and possibly living on my own in the near future. Not to mention, I haven’t even begun to notice the time I’ve put into my relationship. Going on two years, this has become my first long-term relationship in four years of college. But with everything coming so soon, does that mean something else should be expected in the future as well?
It has been difficult for me to focus on graduating and seeing people my age getting engaged at the same time. It got me thinking, how many years should you be with someone until you even consider marriage? How old is old enough to take on a marriage? Have we completely forgotten about the old days when getting married and having babies at age 20 was acceptable? These questions have consumed my thinking time, leaving me to wonder what society expects from women nowadays.
I believe that ever since women were given an education, they were also given the opportunity to flourish in the work world, putting less focus on their romantic side of life. It isn’t because women began to resent men or marriage; they just fell in love with success instead. Throughout this country, you can see traditional women still having babies at a young age while other women are putting success first. But what I can’t understand is how society has turned the tables on thousands of marital opinions.
It has gone from, “you don’t need an education, you need to take care of your children” to “you don’t need a man, you need an education to take care of yourself.” Maybe this is why I have become so fearful of the years to come. Don’t get me wrong, I see myself being married to the man of my dreams, but I also see society shaming down on me for not becoming a successful woman first. Has it really turned from family and marriage into money and success?
With this new age, I’m moving towards a new stage in life – the possibility of marriage. I’ve seen friends become engaged during their senior year of college. I’ve seen other friends get hired at multi-million dollar companies. But I’ve rarely seen both at the same time.
The time I used to spend out with friends, I now spend in the library studying, knowing I’m already in a relationship – no need to keep looking. But what do you do when you approach a fork in the road that gives you two options in life? If you could only have one, which would you choose, success or love?
Let’s say you get both, the love and success. What happens when you get a promotion and need to make a decision or a sacrifice? Do you turn your marriage into a long-distance relationship or do you give up success for your love life? Even if the decision was easy, who’s to say society agrees with you. You need to factor in the opinions of those around you – family, friends, coworkers, etc. Will it be easy to say those opinions don’t matter and fully stick to what you believe in or will society slowly lay down the hammer and make it that much harder for you to follow your own heart?
The only thing I know for sure is that when the time comes, I don’t intend on letting society dictate my fork in the road.