I was watching the Today show this morning and had to share my unwarranted opinion about this topic.
Susan Patton, a Princeton grad, wrote this letter to her alma matter’s newspaper about the importance of women finding a husband while they are in college. Her justification for this claim is that girls entering college are at their prime, physically and fertile-ly, and by snagging a husband-to-be as a co-ed will be beneficial in the long run for their offspring. She does state that clearly she thinks women should receive an excellent education, as they should be the intellectual equals of their spouse.
Watching Savannah Guthrie interview this woman was painful, and really was a visual sum of why Patton is wrong. On the left is Savannah Guthrie, 40+ and recently engaged, in one of the most coveted positions in journalism, an incredibly well educated (Georgetown JD, U of Arizona BA) successful woman. On the right is Susan Patton, who’s claim to fame are her controversial claims made in her letter and now subsequent book. While I do not want to compare the physical appearance differences between the two women, it is clear that Patton is older than Guthrie, and may actually appear older than her years.
I know I do not stand alone in thinking that Patton is wrong, and may just be saying these things for the reaction she is receiving. As a college freshman, about 6 years ago, I remember meeting a girl who said part of the reason she was at college was to meet a man to marry. She referenced how her parents were married at 19 & 20 and had spent 20+ wonderful years together. I think at 17 I was unable to hide my shock at her words. If I heard the same thing now, at 23, I would be inclined to shake some sense into her. I will say that to the best of my knowledge this girl is now married, and I would hope very happy.
The best part about college is it is the time to be selfish. Not everyone gets the luxury of going away to better themselves and devote themselves solely to ideas and projects that interest them. College is not just about the freedom of partying and being away from your parents, but of learning about yourself and growing. If you put it in perspective, those 4 (or 7) years of your life are a simple fraction of all the years you will, G-d willing, live, but they will change you immensely. Why spend that time looking for someone else, when you can become the best version of yourself?
I personally am very fortunate to have found an amazing man, and we just so happen to have met in college. While I may daydream about getting married, and have a Pinterest folder worth $1 million in billable hours for a wedding planner, I am happy I’m 23 and without a spouse. To the girls out there stressing about finding the right man by age 19, I say: it is not a race, it is not the the Ark, you should really live by the old adage about loving yourself before someone else can love you.