Sydney Kate Watson, asst. arts and living editor

“Ring by Spring” refers to senior college students getting engaged before or during spring semester. If you are a senior at Berry, I am sure your Instagram feed has been swamped with engagement photos. I love the idea of love, but I am a little bit concerned about all of these couples being engaged before senior year ends. However, I would like to preface this by saying that I am extremely happy for my fellow classmates and friends who are engaged, or who are already married. I just want to express my concern for the couples who are on the fence about ring by spring. 

My mother always told me that between the ages of 18 and 24, you change your fundamentals as a person more than any other time in your life. So far, in my 22 years of life, that statement stands true. My first-year-of-college self would not recognize my senior-year self, and I cannot even imagine how much I will change between now and the time I turn 24. 

For those of you who do not believe Momma Laura, perhaps science will persuade you instead. According to Sandra Aamodt, neuroscientist and co-author of the book “Welcome to Your Child’s Brain,” your brain is not fully developed until age 25. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is only about halfway developed by the age of 18, or the time that the government deems you an adult. The prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain that allows you to control your impulses as well as planning and organizing to reach certain goals in your life. 

Also, according to Aamodt, the reward system of a young adult brain is still highly activated from puberty, and this causes an increase in risky behaviors. People with highly active reward systems find it exciting to enter into uncertain situations, and are easily persuaded by peer pressure. The brain’s reward system does not reach adult levels until age 25. 

There is ample evidence to suggest that one’s brain is not fully developed until the age of 25. Most everyone I know who is engaged currently, or planning on getting engaged is below the age of 25 and have plans to marry before they turn 25. If science says you are not fully an adult, then something as adult as marriage does not seem like the correct circumstance to enter into. 

Also, another prime factor to consider are the divorce rates of people who marry between the ages of 20 to 25; about 60% of these marriages will end in divorce according to wf-lawyers.com. Divorce is emotional for the spouses and for the possible children. Divorce is expensive between the lawyers and possible child support. Divorce is not something that you want to happen, and no one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced. However, the numbers do not lie. Marriages between the ages of 20 to 25 are susceptible to 10% higher rates of divorce than the already extremely high national divorce rate of 50%. 

If you do not want to believe my mother, the scientific evidence or the mathematical evidence, believe the car rental companies. The age to rent a car is 25 years old. It is possible to rent a car starting at an earlier age, but car rental companies typically charge a young driver fee. They know that younger drivers have some experience but ultimately are not as experienced or developed as those at 25 years old. So, the companies seek to protect themselves against the almost inevitable possibility of accidents. 

Protect yourself against possible damages, please consider not getting engaged or married until after 25 years-old. Do not fall prey to the peer pressure of “ring by spring,” do what is right for you and think twice about the evidence. 

Posted by Campus Carrier

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