By Anna Tabet |
Is college really college if you’re not constantly surrounded by young love? I mean if romcoms have taught me anything, college is meant for love and maybe studying if you have time.
If it wasn’t obvious by my blatant sarcasm, I’m not the biggest fan of this notion that college is the best time to fall in love. Understandably, however, love can be inevitable. But going to college with the primary goal of getting married goes against the educational privileges women have fought so hard to attain and preserve.
An “MRS Degree” is a term used by women who mainly utilize college as a way to find a husband. This term originated in the 1950s and is still in use today.
But why would young women revert back to those stereotypes when coming to college?
While it is evident that obtaining an MRS Degree would take hours of hard work and commitment, as well as consistent visits to the library to find a cute, well-read boy, I’m just not sure that it is the best usage of women’s time in college.
1833 marked the first year women were able to enroll in college; and yet, it wasn’t until 1980 that the percentage of men and women enrolled in college was equal. But now, nearly 11.2 million women were expected to attend college in 2018, in comparison to 8.7 million men.
Sadly, these notable improvements don’t mean that men and women are finally equal. In fact, in a study done by the United States Department of Labor in 2014, women who worked full-time and year-round earned 79 percent of men’s annual earnings. This shows that the women’s movement for equal opportunity is still a constant struggle, and I just don’t see an MRS Degree as a fair representation of women’s battle for education.
Marriage has been an expected life goal for women for centuries. We’ve fought so hard as a community to separate ourselves from this belief that our only aspiration in life should be to become a wife and a mother. While there is nothing wrong with wanting these things (I mean, kids are adorable), college should be a place where you explore the vast opportunities presented to you, because for many, these opportunities were never attainable.
In Betty Friedan’s book “Feminine Mystique,” she depicted the emptiness that many housewives felt through their drive to become a “perfect” homemaker. A woman’s femininity was tied to her success as a wife.
But surprise, it’s not the 50s anymore.
Women’s femininity is defined by whatever they choose to define it by. Women are showing their strength and their perseverance without fear of how men will receive it. Women are proud to be women.
And let me just say, it’s so cool.
It’s easy to take college for granted. It’s easy to think that nothing we do while in this bubble we call a campus will affect our lives once we leave. But it can. I truly believe every person has the capability of finding something in college that brings them happiness. But solely aiming for a goal like marriage when people are able to delve into so many more creative activities decreases a person’s capability of making the most out of their time in school.
Although, sometimes falling in love and college just happen to occur at the same time. In situations like these, my thoughts aren’t meant to make people who are in love and in college feel like they’re not reaching their full potential. Love’s timing can’t be controlled. You can’t politely call up love and ask if it could please come back after you’ve completed college, preferably any time between four and six p.m. I understand that no matter how practical, that’s just not how it works.
If anything, my thoughts on this subject are for those who believe the only thing they can gain out of college is a husband. To those people, I’d like to remind you that the only person that controls your future is yourself. Having a husband won’t make your accomplishments any more or less meaningful on your path towards personal growth and happiness in college.
So believe that you can make something of yourself beyond becoming a wife, because analyzing literature is way more fun than analyzing misleading texts from boys.