Madeleine Kobes — Staff Writer
Everyone goes to college with a certain set of expectations, goals, and hopes. For many, this includes earning a degree and learning a set of skills that will prepare them for a future degree. Many others hope to meet people and perhaps even meet the person. Dordt University is rated number one for student engagement, and that title is certainly true. With this comes an expectation to date and get married.
People will often say that they are at college to earn their “MRS Degree,” and jokingly say that they better get their “ring by spring.” Phrases like “Senior scramble” and “don’t date before Tri-State” indicate how important dating and marriage are for Dordt students. Even when they are jokes, many students are secretly hoping that they will find their person.
“Dordt is a place where a lot of people get engaged and married, so that external expectation from the institution was present,” sophomore Truman Clark said. “That hasn’t happened yet, for me.”
External pressure from friends and family members and internal pressure to start dating can make students feel overwhelmed. At Dordt, so many students’ parents also attended Dordt, met each other at Dordt, and got married during or shortly after graduating. Many people today do find love at Dordt, which is great. It says something that so many like-minded individuals can meet each other and date with common beliefs, values, and priorities.
However, this can make people who have not found love or who are going to wait to marry feel like there is something wrong with them.
“It seems like people are always questioning me about it,” sophomore Tabitha Van Essen said. “Everyone around us is always dating and getting engaged, and there’s so much pressure.”
This pressure can also hurt the relationships between men and women on campus. It can be difficult to make friends with people of the opposite gender when the true motivations are to eventually date them. Friendships can also be ruined by dating. Breaking up with someone you expected to marry can also be difficult and feel embarrassing. Many students at Dordt end up getting engaged after knowing each other for only a year, or sometimes less. While each relationship is different, some may wonder how well you can really know a person after a year of dating. This is a question that each person must deal with and answer for themselves, ultimately.