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Op/Ed Trumpet

COLUMN: A COLLEGE MARRIAGE STORY

These are the highs and lows of being married as a college student.  

NICK THOMPSON, TRUMPET SPORTS EDITOR

These are the highs and lows of being married as a college student.  

A little bit of background on my wife and me. I met my wife, Jenna Wiese, while working at the Mensa on campus. I know, a true Wartburg love story. 

From study room date nights in Grossman Hall, to working Friday night Mensa shifts together, we both realized pretty early on that this relationship was ending in marriage.   

NICK THOMPSON AND HIS WIFE, JENNA.

The pandemic oddly enough brought us closer together. I had the opportunity to stay with her family during the May Term of 2020. Because of the unfortunate circumstance we were all faced with when moving to online classes for May Term, we decided to make our first big decision together. Staying with her family gave me the opportunity to get to know her and her family better.   

We have both agreed that staying together was one of the main reasons that our wedding was before we graduated, because the time we spent together that month allowed us both to get a glimpse of life together. After that, the idea of living apart from one another seemed impossible to bear.  

We got married on August 21, 2021, and it was one of the best days of my life. People always ask me how I knew I was ready to get married, and, as the old cliche says, “when you know you know.” We currently are living in New Hampton with our black Lab dog, Ottis, who is just under a year old.  

Throughout the entire engagement and planning process, I was told that I was too young and I should wait until I was out of college. Were there points when I thought the same thing while trying to juggle college classes and planning a wedding? Of course there were, but I wouldn’t change a single thing.  

Being married in college has its challenges. Personally, college has taken a backseat to starting my family. Marriage changes the priorities and I am no different to that. Trying to keep college at the front of my mind while also nurturing and growing our relationship is very difficult. With the support of Jenna though, it can all seem manageable.   

The challenges of living 40 minutes away from campus and working at 7:30 a.m. every weekday has made the process of being a married college student harder than if we lived locally. Group work is nearly impossible to do because I have to leave as soon as my classes are over to take care of Ottis and make sure Jenna gets to work on time at 3:30 p.m.  

With rising gas prices, having to find another job is almost a necessity at this point. Adding that stressor onto my plate has been very challenging. The thought of mixing in more work hours with all my rigorous classes and balancing our marriage is almost unfathomable to me at times.   

We both would have loved to live on or near campus but the college does not provide married housing. The rent is also very high in the Waverly area, and with only two part-time incomes while also paying for bare necessities it was not plausible for us to live near the Wartburg community.  

After reading all that, people may wonder, “Nick, why did you get married so young if it is nothing but issues?” To that, I answer this: I get to have a sleepover with my best friend every day. We get to spend the car ride together to school to start off our day. It is my favorite part because the sunrise in Iowa is something to behold every morning. Getting to cook our own food and making a budget together has also been very helpful to us.   

One of the biggest scenes and causes of stress during college is relationships. We have been lucky enough to not have to go through the heartbreaks that usually plague a college career. Finding a partner in life so early has been beneficial to me because I have a partner that pushes me to be better and holds me accountable daily.  

I have learned a lot about myself and life through these past few months. I’ve learned that communication is key in a good relationship. Writing is truly my passion and after four changes in my major, I’ve found my home in the journalism department. A God-centered foundation in my marriage is something that is going to bring me joy in my life.   

Nick Thompson is a fourth-year journalism and communication major. This is his second year as the sports editor for the Trumpet. 

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