5 Lies People Believe About Marrying Young

Written by: Megan Wall

I’m a 21-year-old college student in Montana, and I’ve been married for a year and a half as of this month. I consistently get the same reactions whenever someone, especially someone around my age, discovers that I’m a wife: “You’re married?!? At 21?? That’s soo young!! I could never give up so much of my life right now!” While I understand that not everyone needs to, or even should, get married young, I feel that there are quite a few misunderstandings about what it’s like to be a wife at my age. Here are 5 lies that many people believe about marrying young:

Lie #1: Marrying young takes away all of your independence.

It’s true that being married brings change to your life; you’re choosing to weave your life together with another person and that requires a beautiful, and sometimes difficult, selflessness. However, being married does NOT take away everything that makes you YOU. I’ve found that it’s really healthy for my husband and I to do things independently; we both have very different passions, hobbies and activities that we find restful and/or enjoyable. For example, he loves to take the occasional day to go fishing with a few buddies, and could be on the river allll day long. I, on the other hand, could fish happily for a maximum of (maybe) 30 minutes, and would much rather spend an afternoon at a dance class (my husband’s worst nightmare) or catching up with a girlfriend over coffee. 

My husband is my best friend and we value taking time to pour into one another and into our marriage; there are even many things we both really enjoy! However, we treasure our individual friendships and hobbies and understand the importance of taking time for ourselves. I believe that when you’re in a healthy marriage, you take the time to intentionally pursue one another, but you also encourage your spouse to continue pursuing things that they love independent of your marriage. Marrying young has given me a new dependence on the person I love most in this world, while also allowing me to maintain my independence in ways that I deeply value.

Lie #2: You have to give up on your dreams when you get married young.

I hear this one a lot. People think that getting married young requires one to give up on everything they’ve ever aspired to be and do. In fact, many don’t think they should get married until they’ve achieved what they want and have “everything in their life under control.” My experience with marriage, however, has shown me that it doesn’t inhibit you, but rather has the potential to encourage your dreams to flourish and grow in beautiful, new ways. Being a wife and walking through life with my best friend has inspired the dreamer in me to come alive even more; my husband’s support and belief in me gives me a greater courage to walk in my gifts and choose boldness. Now, I must point out that it’s important to choose to do life with someone you’re compatible with– someone who’s heart is in alignment with yours in the ways that matter most. Doing so will allow you and your spouse to pray for and pursue your dreams together.

Lie #3: You won’t grow as much as you could if you stayed single.

            This one is fairly similar to the lie discussed previously. Many believe that getting married at a young age “ties you down” and holds you back in life. However, the beautiful thing about marriage is that it gives you and your spouse the opportunity to sharpen and encourage one another to grow in areas that may be hard to identify alone; starting young can be a tremendous blessing when you view marriage in this way! When you live with another person long enough, they see every bit of you – every flaw and insecurity and struggle. Acknowledging personal weakness is not something most of us excel at… Luckily, a spouse is someone who sees everything in you, loves you despite your imperfections, and even loves you enough to encourage growth in your blind spot areas of weakness – what a gift! 

Lie #4: Marrying young doesn’t empower women.

            Attending a very liberal university, I often get the vibe that women see marrying young as an undermining of women empowerment. That, for whatever reason, it is more admirable for a woman to achieve things independently than when she’s chosen to become a wife. I simply do not believe that I have to achieve a career before marriage in order to be a confident and accomplished woman. Whether a woman is single or not does not determine the validity of her success; accomplishing something without a man in one’s life does not prove greater strength and should not earn greater admiration. I believe that a truly confident woman sees worth and potential in herself whether married or not. Women can walk in empowerment no matter their relationship status. 

Lie #5: Marrying young takes away some of your fun.

            Let me just say this… if you choose your life partner wisely, then your life together will not be dull. Partying, dating around, and hopping from one person to another may be seen as “fun” by some young people, but for others, it’s realized that this is an empty and unfulfilling way to live. Am I saying that you have to be married to have fun? Absolutely not. Am I saying that being single is always unfulfilling and empty? No way! What I am saying, is that the idea that marriage takes away your fun is based on a warped view of what marriage can be. Throughout this past year and a half, my husband and I have laughed until our bellies ached (both at and with each other), we’ve had crazily competitive and hilarious game nights, we’ve gone on lots of small (and some big) adventures together, and we’ve found humor even in the days that seem mundane. It’s incredible to be chosen and loved by another person every day, and it’s a gift to find that special someone early in life – someone who brings more joy into your every day. 

I hope that I have been clear in writing this blog. I want to reiterate that I do not believe that every person should get married young; I believe that God’s timing works in all sorts of wonderful ways, and I know that everyone’s story is different. I’m not claiming that mine is better than anyone else’s, or that it’s even the “ideal marriage timeline” that should be sought for by all. My hope, however, is that my words have brought light to the negative perceptions that many have about getting married young, and that they have clarified why I find the opposite to be true. Although marriage brings certain challenges and complexities to my life that many college students don’t face, I’m thankful to be married and I cherish my role as a wife. Marriage can be such a gift, and it is my hope that other young women may see it as so. 

Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to check out my blog page, Wall Wife Life, to read about other thoughts, experiences, and lessons I’ve learned in marriage thus far.

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Say Thank You, It’s Important

I’m writing this blog for a marketing class I’m currently taking and I honestly could not come up with anything I wanted to write about, even after asking multiple people over the past week or so, the writer’s block prevailed.  As it came down to the wire, I thought “I should call my Dad, he always knows what to say.” And then it hit me, why not write about that? Why not talk about my parents? Weird way of getting there? Yes, maybe! But I realized that a shout out to my parents couldn’t possibly be a bad idea.

I’m not generally the most emotional person, or even the most sentimental, but I understand the importance of telling someone how much I love and appreciate them. With that being said, I realized that I really have never said thank you to my parents for shaping me into the woman I am today. So with that, here it goes!

Where to begin? My parents have never been the pushy or overbearing type. They’ve never forced sports or student council or even straight A’s, they simply planted the seeds and watched me do with them what I wanted. I still remember having discussions with my dad in elementary school about becoming class president in high school and how cool it would be to experience something like that. From that moment forward it wasn’t a question of if I wanted to become class president, it was an assumption and a goal. These little seeds were planted over the course of my childhood through casual conversations on the drives home from soccer practices, or nights sitting in my dad’s art studio chatting about politics and the art world. My parents were the best at just letting me be independent and make the decisions I felt were necessary to learn and grow.

Now that I’m away at college, these conversations aren’t quite as common and are definitely more adult in their nature, but they still have the same impact. I call my dad for literally anything school or professionally related. If I’m stressed, or overwhelmed, he always knows what to say to talk me down. He always knows what advice to give me when it comes to that job interview or when I have a breakdown about what I’m doing or where I’m going with my life. How he handles it? I’m not entirely sure! Especially considering I have 3 little sisters he also has to deal with at home. Regardless of how he manages, I can’t express enough how thankful I am to constantly have him there to guide me through life’s challenges.

As for my mom, she’s definitely a cool mom, more of a friend one might say! She’s always there like a mom should be, constantly the first one to ask how my day was and question me about the experiences I’m having at college. She encourages me to take time for myself and to make sure I’m sleeping and eating and all that jazz. She never tells me I’m being a child, even when I throw the occasional tantrum or have an attitude fit for a spoiled teenage girl. I call her when I need advice or guidance in my personal life, whether that’s boy drama or I’m feeling unappreciated and need someone to remind me that everything will be okay. She never fails to tell me how proud she is or to say she misses me and wants to know when I’m coming home. She always knows how to comfort me through my emotional ups and downs and lift me up when I’m feeling depressed from the heaviness of my responsibilities.

So Dad, thank you for always taking the time to advise me, to encourage me and to remind me that the chaos is only temporary. Thank you for constantly showing your support and never ending a conversation without an “I love you.” Thank you for talking with me like an adult and also for occasionally forgetting I’m actually a grown up. I know that’s just a dad thing to do, but it reminds me that even though I’m away at school and living on my own, you’ll always be there to protect me from the monsters in life. Thank you for showing me that sometimes it’s worth it to take risks in order to get the things you want in life. And ultimately, thank you for inspiring me through your hard work and dedication to your career and the obvious passion you have for what you do. And through everything, thank you for never failing to put Mom, me and the girls first.

And Mom, thank you for never doubting me and laughing at my relentless sarcastic comments, even when they’re really not that funny. Thanks for listening to my drama and pushing me to make the best decision and do right by the people around me. Thank you for showing me what it means to truly give your life to your family and your time to your children. Thanks for offering to drive to Missoula when I’m having a rough day and thank you for being positive through the difficult times in life. Thanks for never being afraid to express your feelings and reminding me that sometimes showing compassion and empathy are the best things anyone can do.

These are only a few of the aspects of my relationship with my parents that I’m happy to brag about. But really, thank you Mom and Dad. Thank you for creating balance and stability in my life. Thank you for never pushing, but always nudging me to succeed. Thank you for showing me that I’m really my own worst critic and to lighten up sometimes. Thank you for encouraging me to set my goals high and and my standards higher. Thank you for supporting me and inspiring me every day. I am so appreciative of every ride to practice, every long day spent at tournaments, the academic assemblies, late night phone calls, shopping trips, serious life discussions, gossip sessions, book suggestions, dinner dates, and a whole lot of patience.

I know I used the word “thank you” approximately 212 times and this really only pertains to my parents, but I think it’s important to take a moment every once in awhile to actually express your appreciation for the people who love and care most about you. I’m beyond grateful for the relationship I have with my parents and I’m blessed to have such wonderful role models in my life. Take the time to tell someone you love them, send them a text or leave a simple note, and never forget to say thank you because it’s important! I love you Mom and Dad, thanks for raising me to stand strong and be confident in who I am. I’m forever appreciative of everything you do for me.

Love,

Your Favorite Daughter

Jordyn Kronenberg

Modern Dating Is Kind Of The Worst

Modern dating is kind of the worst. I’ve been catfished by someone I thought was a hot British journalist, been ghosted so hard I question these guys existed to begin with, and recently discovered that I’ve also been a victim of “breadcrumbing.” Don’t know what these terms mean? You’re one of the lucky ones.

Now I’ll be the first one to say that I’m at fault for getting myself into these situations. At one time I had three dating apps on my phone and I would rely on them for the majority of my interactions with the opposite sex. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s addicting.

But what I’ve learned from my friends, and through stories from friends of friends is that we resort to these apps to connect because people simply don’t interact with each other in the same way anymore. We’re so used to hiding behind our screens that the simple act of going up to someone and introducing yourself in person is not only petrifying, it’s unthinkable.

If there’s one belief modern dating has instilled in me is that I am replaceable. You better be absolutely perfect because one wrong move and you’re out of here. You’re left swiped, ghosted, unmatched. You better not seem too interested because then you’re desperate, weird, even crazy. But if you seem too hard to get, he’ll get bored, honey. He can find someone to take your place with the swipe of a finger so you better not mess things up for yourself.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. We normalize the concept of spending time with someone, getting to know each other, giving the impression that we’re interested, and then vanishing without a trace. It’s rude and unfair, but the worst thing about it is I’ve done it right back. Last week I was walking to class when I simultaneously crossed paths with a guy I had ghosted and a guy who had ghosted me. It’s a weird and shitty thing to do, but we continue to do it because we’re scared.

When did we get so scared that ignoring someone until they get the hint has become the norm?

Listen, I’m not here to tell you that romance is dead. I strongly believe that it is alive and out there for those who seek it. Although dating apps have certainly twisted the concept of dating, they are not the issue. The issue is letting our own fear compromise the standard for how we treat others.

Modern dating is exhausting. It can be infuriating to keep up with the games and the new technology created to find your next boyfriend, next hookup or next person you text for a while only to end up constantly making awkward eye contact for the rest of your college career. But modern dating is still dating. It was weird and awkward and scary back in the “good ol’ days” and it’s weird and awkward and scary now. There’s just a few more pixels involved.

 

Written by Michelle Dufflocq Williams

Photography by Adrian Sava

How To Make String Art


Are you looking for a cute wall piece to liven up your living room, or a cute meaningful gift for someone that is hard to buy for? Why spend a ton of money at a department stores for decorations or gifts, when you could simply make them yourself!

I have always been one for arts and crafts, and with pinterest constantly filling my head with crafty ideas and do it yourself projects, string art just looked and sounded something cool to do! If you know how to handle a hammer and can tie a knot, this project should be easy and fun.

Here are my steps start to finish to help you to successfully make a beautiful and one of a kind string art project perfect for a gift, or simply as a decoration in your own home. Trust me, people will be asking where you got them.

 

Lets Get Started!

 


Step 1: Tools and Supplies

First you must decide what kind of material you would like to work with( wood, canvas, etc.), and collect all of the supplies you will need. In this project, here is a list of the supplies used:

  • Wood (size is optional, however it must be at least a half inch thick to ensure nails can be        hammered deep enough to prevent them from coming loose)
  • Nails- (16mm-25.4mm long)
  • String (color is optional)
  • Printed string art pattern or stencil
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Wood Stain (optional)
  • Paintbrush (optional)

 

 


Step 2: Hammer Time!

For this project, I chose to print out an outline, and tape it to my surface. If you would rather, you can draw the image straight on the surface, and follow the lines that way. The benefit of taping your outline onto the board is that you can remove the stencil later on and not have unwanted lines left behind. It also makes following the pattern very simple and easy.

As you can see in the pattern above, the lines are quite complex. If this is your first time attempting string art, I would suggest a less intricate stencil, and work your way up to more difficult patterns.

When hammering the nails, space them about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch apart.

Once you have finished hammering, go back through and make sure each nail is secure. This is VERY important to do to ensure that while stringing, the nails will not be pulled out, or loosen. This is also crucial to do before the outline is removed because when pulling the outline off, nails that are not secure will come out.

After removing the outline, I chose to stain the piece of wood in order to create a more bold background for the string to stand out from. This step is optional, however, it definitely adds to the piece.

 


Step 3: Ready, Set, STRING!

For this project, I decided to do a thick cross string pattern.

Essentially, there is no pattern to follow, simply begin by tying a double knot around one nail, this will be your starting point. Be sure to leave a long tail to connect your end piece of string with. From there, create the outline for your pattern by looping the string around the outer points of the pattern.

Once you have the outline strung up, begin crossing the string through out out the nails and fill in the pattern. Decide whether you want your pattern to look more ‘holey’, meaning the board beneath is visible, or more filled in where you cannot see the board.


Step 4: Finishing Touches

This step is just for tying up all the loose ends. (Literally)

Be sure that the string is tight and you have gotten the look you want. For extra securing purposes, use a hot glue gun to glue the two trimmed end pieces that are tied together. This is of course optional, however it does help the piece to last for years to come.

Katie Buckley is a University of Montana Senior in pursuit of a Marketing Degree as well as a certificate in Event Management. She loves Pinterest and gains a lot of her DIY inspiration from the creativity of others and hopes to share her own ideas projects with the world and inspire others.

5 Pretty Obvious Reasons to Not Pass Judgement

Children’s naive understanding of the world allows them to live and learn freely, openly and,  until they begin to compare themselves to others, without judgement. I am envious of kids abilities to say whatever they feel, ask any question, and do so without fear of what others will think.

As we learn about the world and grow into teenagers and adults, we develop ideas of what is right and what is wrong based on a variety of external and internal influences. The sequence of events that happen in life will affect based on your reaction to them.

This is the same in our relationships with people. In life, people will come and go. This could be someone you fall in love with, an acquaintance, or someone who walks past you on the street. How you react and interact with these people shapes how you move about in the world.

To put it simply and hopefully not to cliche, how you view others around you stems from how you feel about yourself. If we could all remember how we felt as children  perhaps we could recall the genuine simplicity of interacting with others and improve the way we view each other.

I have come up with five reasons why you wouldn’t want to judge someone before you chat with them.

  1. Imagine how much someone else knows. No one knows everything, everyone has interests, and everyone likes to share what they know with others. There is endless power in knowledge and unless you think you know it all, there is not a single person you will meet who cant teach you something. If you’re open to it, you will always be pleasantly surprised. “Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable, but no flowers grow.” -Vincent Van Gogh 
  2. There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love if you could read their story. People are fascinating, everyone starts from nothing and over time becomes a unique personality with a unique story. You don’t have to love listening to peoples life stories to appreciate how different we are and how far we’ve all come.
  3. The power of positivity is simple. It feels better to feel good and feels worse to feel bad. Thinking negatively, especially in regards to people, will likely evoke negative feelings in and about yourself. Seeing the good in others and being understanding of people, will allow you to recognize and feel good about your own qualities. Positivity grows exponentially faster than negativity and is significantly easier to put your energy into.
  4. What are you afraid of? While people may come from different backgrounds beliefs and understandings, it will only benefit you to try to understand the why behind their ways. If you are confident in your own values, there should be no fear of the unknown. “When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind” -African Proverb
  5. You’d hate for it to happen to you. Considering how smart and capable you are, you have a lot to offer and it would be a shame for someone to overlook that based on a judgement. When others engage with you, be kind, be honest, and be yourself. It wont always work out and you wont always agree but if both parties can take away something different or new, then that’s a win.

Remember to love each other despite differences, ask questions if you don’t understand, and use your powers for good. At the end of the day it’s honestly so much easier.

Something to consider,

Niki