Married students see academic improvement
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 00:10
As the fourth week of school pushes on, the pressure of quizzes, homework, papers and tests has begun to sink in for most USU students. These students are realizing they will need to devote more time to studies and balancing out their social lives if they want to perform well in the classroom.
Cody Cleverly, a graduate student in the human resources program, said striking a balance isn’t the easiest thing to do.
“No one wants to be the roommate whose head is in a book while your roommates are out jumping in First Dam,” Cleverly said. “There can be a lot of pressure put on a student when there is something fun going on but you know, deep down, your time would be better spent studying.”
Cleverly said he isn’t one of the many USU students sharing crowded apartments or dormitories with roommates they don’t really know that well. Cleverly is married, and he feels fortunate to no longer have to deal with the distractions of typical roommates.
“Now each day when I come home from school and work, I get to sit down and spend time with my wife,” he said. “I am much happier, and school is a lot easier for me now. She is also a student, so we are able to relate with one another and we have a lot more clarity on what our purpose is as students.”
Cleverly is not the only one who felt relief from what he called a “fear of missing out,” or FOMO, after finally tying the knot.
Erin Mann, who graduated last spring with a degree in marketing and economics, said she always wanted to be out with friends when she should have been focused on her schoolwork.
“I for sure wanted to be out with all my friends, hanging out and having a good time,” Mann said. “It was hard not to miss out on something, even though I knew I needed to study for my classes.”
Mann’s viewpoint changed shortly after she married her husband Kevin Mann, a computer science major.
“I realized as a student I was still happy even though I went to bed early, and I found enjoyment in spending my evenings reading a book,” Erin Mann said. “But what made it really nice is that my husband and I support each other and we are able to stay focused on our goals.”
Many students have fears about being married during their time in college, said Ryan Seedall, an assistant professor in the university’s marriage and family program. These fears stem from a variety of factors.
“A lot of people feel like being married and having a family must be a really big challenge, but you have to realize that single students are involved in a lot of things that married students are not,” Seedall said. “Both groups have a lot going on for them.”
Seedall said students can experience many benefits from having a supportive while attending school, especially if both individuals share a similar desire and work ethic.
Shane and MarLin Hill agree school became much easier for them after they were married.
“It is nice not to have to worry about the social pressure anymore — knowing that, no matter what, I will always find acceptance from my wife,” Shane Hill said.
MarLin Hill said she agreed with her husband.
“Even though we have a daughter now, it has been much easier for us to focus on school and to realize what we would really like to accomplish in life,” she said.
Even though many married-student couples enjoy the life they are living now, they also feel it’s important to consider timing before committing to such a relationship.
Cleverly, who married his wife Stephanie Chestnut in May, said it’s important for students who are married to each other to work together to plan important decisions out in advance.
“If your spouse does not support you in your decision to work hard in school and perform well, then being a married student could have potential to be really stressful,” Cleverly said. “Lucky enough for me, Stephanie is very supportive of my decision to pursue a higher education and she helps motivate me to continue to do better.”
Because of Chestnut’s support, Cleverly said he’s having one of his most successful semesters of his collegiate career.
“This semester is the first time that I have actually been able to read my books and be fully committed in my studies, and I am really enjoying it,” he said.