Text by Marissa Dellatto
Illustration by Pim Phongsirivech
Nowadays, more than half of all marriages end in divorce. That means more than half of us, Generation Y, the Millennials, come from broken families. One’s “twenties” used to be known as an age for settling down, starting a family and career all at once. Times have changed, so have the goals and ambitions of the modern “twenty-something”. We opened our ears to three Emerson College students on the brink of this defining decade, to hear their thoughts on the institution of marriage and how - and if - they predict it to fit into their lives.
“I definitely see [marriage] in my future, but definitely in the distant future,” said a weary Rivka Herrera, 19, of Maryland. “I don’t ever want to rush into marriage because parents went through a really bad divorce and my mom was really young when she got married.” Making that same mistake is not something Herrera intends to do. Right now, her main focuses are bettering herself and her career. “I’m a very firm believer in the fact that you have to love yourself before you can love someone else and share yourself with someone else,” preached Herrera. “ I think we’re all too young for that right now anyway, we’re all still figuring it out.”
“Alot of my friends from home are very invested in getting married once they graduate,” said Hunter Harris, 20, of Oklahoma. “That’s just never been a priority of mine.” Harris has a “realistic” view on marriage, coming from divorced parents. She can imagine having a long term committed relationship in her future, but to her, that doesn’t have to be defined as marriage. “I don’t feel the pressure to get married out of college as much as I feel the pressure to get a job out of college,” she added. Harris faulted this difference in priorities to a love and passion of her work. “Maybe at a later time my priorities might change. For right now, having a long term committed relationship isn’t a priority for me,” she explained. “Just because I don’t think I’d have the time to devote to it.”
Zach Holden, 18, of Wisconsin, shares this difference in priorities, but from a different perspective. Though both his parents come from divorces, they’ve been married for 18 years. Despite this, Holden isn’t exactly sold on the whole idea of marriage. “It’s not something I plan for, but something I think could happen. I like to keep my options open in my life. I try not to focus too hard on finding someone perfect.,” divulged Holden. “I think it’s highly unlikely that you are going to find someone perfect. But [if] two intelligent individuals come together they can definitly make it work.” Currently, Holden’s main priority is focusing on his education and career. If something in the marriage relm were to come along, Holden said he would, “make room for it. If it happens, it happens.”