At a privately owned LDS university where students are encouraged to get married, some BYU students feel pressure from marital expectations.
Stereotypes exist stating searching for an eternal companion is the “real” reason people choose to attend BYU. It is a common assumption that going to BYU ensures that not only will you find the perfect major for you — you will also find that special someone. But that may not be as true as everyone believes.
According to BYU statistics over the past 10 years, only 25 percent of current undergraduate BYU students are married. The other 75 percent (approximately 25,000 students) are still on the lookout for their one and only. By the time students graduate, the marriage percentage more than doubles, but statistics are still far from 100 percent. In 2009, the most recent year available for marital statistics of graduating students, 55 percent of those graduating were married, leaving 45 percent of BYU graduates unmarried.
Although some students may be disappointed to graduate single, not getting married while attending BYU is not the end of the world. For Alexandra Hild, a sophomore studying advertising, not getting married at BYU worked out well for her family.
“Both of my parents attended BYU at the same time and never met,” Hild said. “My dad even went to grad school here. He failed twice finding a wife. They finally met in a YSA ward in San Francisco.”
Mackenzie Mummert, a junior studying exercise and wellness from Brea, Calif., agreed that not getting married while at BYU doesn’t mean someone’s chances are ruined.
“My mom graduated from BYU and my dad attended, but they never crossed each others’ paths until they went back home,” Mummert said.
A recent study by the Huffington Post examined the average age of Americans when they get married. For men, it was 28.7 years old and for women it was 26.5. People seem to be getting married later and later, even in the LDS faith.
Both of sophomore Emily Nelson’s parents attended and graduated from BYU single.
“(My parents) met when my dad was in his residency in California and my mom was working as a nurse there. They met in the UCLA singles ward. My dad was 33, and my mom was 25,” Nelson said.