I started the first year of my undergraduate career in 2012, spreading my wings at this great university, and by Summer 2013, I was engaged — not just by SFU, but to an actual person.
While still undecided on whether I should add a minor to my joint-major, I had somehow figured out who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Nearly 10 months have flown by since our wedding, and I would be lying if I said it’s been all sunshine and roses. Getting married young has been far from easy.
The first challenge hit me months before the wedding. While most of our friends, family, and acquaintances seemed to be happy for us, there were lots of comments like, “I remember when you were just a baby!” and “Wait, you’re how old?” and straight up, “Wow, you’re so young!”
Their comments were justifiable, considering we were tying the knot 10 years earlier than the average Canadian, but it was difficult to hear such shock and doubt regarding arguably the most important decision I will have ever made.
I still remember having to send a few massive explanatory text messages, something along the lines of, “No, it’s not arranged. Yes, I know and actually love him. No, my parents are not forcing me into this!” Having to prove and explain that I was choosing to marry someone I loved seemed redundant, unsettling, and absolutely necessary all at once.
Post-wedding involved a major transition from living with two parents, three rambunctious younger siblings, and an ever-present extended family, to life in a cozy little suite for two. The peace and quiet has been wonderful for the most part, but dealing with all the new responsibilities of having my own home, a new family — while still making time for my own family — all on top of school and work, has certainly been a struggle.
Marriage continues to teach me incredible lessons about patience, forgiveness, and selflessness.
Yet all the anxiety, the tears, and the (very slightly) dropped GPA have been worth it. Becoming an adult is difficult, and though it doesn’t become easier when two people are growing up together, it’s an incredible feeling to know you don’t have to face life’s hardships on your own.
In a world where ‘living in the moment’ is a common mantra, marriage has allowed me to live in the future. Being able to dream about careers, life goals, travelling the world, and growing old, knowing that I have someone who has committed to hold my hand in hard times and laugh with me in good times, is incredible.
Marriage has and continues to teach me incredible lessons about patience, forgiveness, and selflessness. It has allowed me to face my greatest vices in a safe space where I can share my struggles and receive constructive criticism from someone who is invested in making me a better person.
Living with my best friend has been a gift in itself. I love having a midnight pizza buddy, an on-call paper editor, a human pillow, and a permanent opponent for debates on issues ranging from ethics and morality to how I should fold my clothes.
Getting married young is not for everyone, and although my choice can be perceived as a rash teenaged decision, I know it’s one I will not regret.
It’s also been really nice to have someone do my laundry (sometimes) and clean my bathroom (always), because even my mom stopped doing that a few years ago.