Not to sound cheesy, but this past October changed my life so significantly. I got engaged while on a trip with my boyfriend (now fiance) and his family. It happened at the most magical place on Earth, Disney World. I couldn’t have been more excited and shocked (also bawling of course). But there was something I was so nervous about before coming home and telling everyone the great news. I was afraid that they wouldn’t accept my decision because I am young and still in college; but that isn’t the reaction I received at all. I’ve learned so much from the journey of a college engagement so far. I think can shine light on the experience for others who may be starting out fearful like I did. 

Family support is so important.

With all of the support and excitement from my family, I felt such a relief. I really don’t know why I was so worried in the first place. Being in college and engaged has been a really eye-opening experience for me. The fear of acceptance from my family ended up being much more minuscule than what I had originally anticipated. They’re ultimately going to be on your side in the end and that’s such a great feeling.

Not everyone will be on board with your decision, and that’s okay.

Not everyone will accept your life choices and that’s okay. Not everyone will be in the same place as you are at your age. Some people really aren’t looking for commitment in college, and other’s are. Therefore not everyone agrees with my decision. I have gotten a lot of, “Do you like being tied down in college?” I really don’t feel tied down. I still have my own life while my fiance has his and that’s totally fine. We have two different schedules and career paths. Being engaged doesn’t mean I am stuck at home all day waiting for him. I still go out with friends and experience college to the fullest. Our relationship stage changed, but my life didn’t. I really don’t need to justify that to anyone because it’s our decision and we’re happy with it.

You may have some important conversations coming your way.

Nothing has significantly changed with my college career since my engagement. I still have the same responsibilities I did when we were just dating. The main change is in the conversation. I will say that being engaged comes with a lot of conversation about finance and your future, of course. Financial situations may make some people uncomfortable, especially with marriage because that really shows how well you can communicate as a couple. Communication will be key, the earlier you can get that down the better. You may not always agree with each other and that’s okay. I can definitely say from experience that my fiance and I do not agree on everything. That’s normal. We just have to have these conversations earlier than most.

Enjoy your wedding planning, the experience will fly by.

Planning my wedding should be a really exciting time in my life. Being in college can sometimes detract form that, which is why I would really recommend spacing out the planning. I am basically planning out my future with another person and my own future career at the same time. It’s a lot to think about some days. I have to remind myself that the planning process should be enjoyable, not excruciating. That’s the main reason why I could never plan it all in a year while still in school. I don’t want to be worrying about finals when I walk down the aisle. There has to be a separation or you’ll drive yourself crazy.

You still need to make time for yourself.

It’s a big step for a relationship. You have to make sure you’re ready and willing to maintain the balance of college and a very committed relationship. Make sure you value your educational experience and don’t allow it to become secondary. Don’t stay in just because you’re now engaged. Don’t let your grades suffer or the other experiences you enjoy. Your partner should support the ways you participate on campus and nights you just want to grab dinner with your friends. Being engaged is an extension of your love and trust for one another, and your future husband or wife should understand that. Making time for yourself is very important, and you will grow to learn all of the truth behind that.

Being engaged during college just makes life a little more complex. It’s still an exciting time and one that should be cherished for all that it is. I know personally it won’t be easy and I have a lot to learn. But it will definitely be one of the most exciting times of my life thus far, and that’s something I couldn’t be more thankful for.

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