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ISSUE 116 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/15/2002

Seniors scramble to get married

By Erin Nickel
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 15, 2002

Oh, to be a senior. Imagine knowing that this was the last year you would have to stand in a cafeteria line to wait for burnt chicken breasts. The last time you need to worry about alcohol violations because you wanted crack open a few beers and relax.

Before we know it we’ll have graduated. But the stresses that permeate the bubble that is St. Olaf still exist. Seniors worry about not just the next English paper, but the next 20 years of our lives. And, when it comes to jobs and internships, the competitiveness can get fierce.

I, for one, am not opposed to a little competition. If Oles feel the need to compare GRE scores or graduate schools, I can settle with that. Oles, though, have brought competition to a new level in a little game called the senior scramble.

Until recently, the term "senior scramble" was foreign to me. I knew that some Oles married one another, and am reminded often of the depression I experienced after week one when I had not met my future husband during a ridiculous ice-breaking exercise. However, within the last month I have heard of a handful of engagements of peers I didn’t even know were dating.

Apparently, for couples who have randomly decided that, after a couple of months of dinner dates in the cafeteria, make out sessions in their room and an occasional drunken profession of love, the next step is marriage. This strikes me as a little odd.

Granted, God created us as desiring to be a loyal and faithful relationship, but as I don’t recall him commanding it by the end of senior year.

My guess is that seniors are getting a little scared. The world beyond Olaf freaks us out because it is like nothing we have ever experienced. We might have to go on real dates, and that would require stepping out of a comfort zone, and putting ourselves on the line.

Let’s face it: risks are scary. Downright terrifying, sometimes. Thus, for Oles the next logical step is to marry another Ole.

But I have to ask: if you haven’t been interested in dating an Ole for the last 3 years, why in the world do you think you could live with one for the next 50?

I’m sure St. Olaf is great. No doubt all the blond, beautiful people will have fabulous marriages, with 2.5 children and a white picket fence. But if those marriages are simply just that, a perfect image void of passionate love and emotional intimacy, then I do not think it is worth it. Part of the fun of dating is meeting girls and guys that you might never end up with, but having a blast because you are young and can afford the time.

In my opinion 99 percent of students at Olaf have no clue about dating someone simply to date, only because Olaf does not foster that sort of activity. And it is a shame. I would hate for any senior at Olaf to look 10 years from now and wish they had had the courage to embark on their journey by themselves.

For those of you who are convinced you have found your "Ole mate", may God grant you the most happiness. But for the rest of you, don’t rush it. Muster up the courage to leave the school alone and have faith in God, and the chance that someone great will come your way.

So please, if there is one thing you do this year, give yourself and future spouse one gift. Find your passions, desires and experience an independent life, and I guarantee that when you do find true love, your relationship will be more amazing and true then you ever knew possible.

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