First comes marriage, then… a degree?

Kelsey Conklin

The Pew Research Center reports that there’s been a 21 percent drop in marriages since the 60s and “birthrate in 2013 was a record-low 62.9 births per 1,000 women, so why is my Facebook news feed filled with engagement announcements and pictures of ultrasounds? Don’t get me wrong, I love weddings and respect people with kids, it’s just not for me right now.

When I was younger I use to think your 20s is all about parties and exploring the world, always filled with excitement. Now I see people in their 20s starting to settle down into family life and it makes me think that I am behind.

Some people have a fear of spiders and snakes. I have a fear of marriage and children. What’s the universal sign for no thank you? It gets worse when your family starts putting pressure on you to face your fears.

My sister got hitched in secret at the ripe old age of 22. That was a real jack-in-the-box for the family during tax season. Unfortunately for me, they got over the secret part and jumped to asking me about my nonexistent marriage. Sarcastically, I always responded maybe around 25 years old, when I can no longer be on my mother’s health insurance.

Currently my sister is expecting, and my whole family is baby obsessed. My family now asks if I’m pregnant.

Nope, this is just the result of the party of one I had last night watching HBO ‘Girls’ and eating a tub of ice cream.

I just learned that coffee isn’t a food group and regular grocery shopping is recommended. I do not think I jumped a few levels to expert mode where I can take care of a child.

I see people I went to high school with having multiple kids. Even though we are the same age, I see them as so young!

It was then that I realized the age people start families isn’t changing and neither is my perception of those people. Now that we have graduated high school the expectations have changed again.

It is acceptable to get married and/or have a few kids.

“When I was 18 or 19 people were getting engaged too soon,” Miranda Nummilien, management major and senior at NMU said.

We all have grown up in a way, but not together. I see them how I last knew them, young. I still think of my sister as a childhood friend. It is weird to see these people that we view as children, having children themselves.

We think more and more people are creating a family life of their own. In reality, it is more noticeable because for the first time it affects our age group.

The statistics on the rate of marriage and children has decreased but their relevance to us has increased.

We never had to think about our peers getting married or having kids in high school, and now we do, but I still need time to take it in.