single graduate

Graduating “BYU-I do” with an “I don’t”

There is an expectation surrounding marriage at BYU-Idaho that is demonstrated by the school’s most popular nickname — BYU-I-Do.

But what about the students who find themselves graduating without a spouse?

“I guess I always assumed that I would graduate married,” said Mandilyn Sorensen, a senior studying music.

Sorensen graduates this semester and, like many of her classmates, finds herself single.

She said this something that she is asked about almost every day.

“It’s always, ‘Wait, how old are you? Why aren’t you married?’” Sorenson said. “Especially over the past two years, people have been like, ‘Whoa, how can you go to BYU-I and not be married?’ They didn’t know it was possible.”

In the past 22 years, 24 to 29 percent of the graduating class at BYU were married at the time of graduation, according to The Digital Universe, BYU’s online newpaper.

Katie Hosler, who graduated from Provo in 2013 with a degree in English, was not part of that percentile.

“Growing up, I always thought that I would graduate high school, go to college, get married, graduate, have kids and be a stay-at-home mom,” Hosler said.

As she went on to her sophomore and junior year of college, Hosler said she started to panic about graduating single.

Because she assumed she would be married when she graduated, she said she did not know what to do with her life after graduation.

Hosler said while she was in school, her dating experience was less than ideal.

“Dating was hard for me because didn’t think I could get anyone, and I was surprised when anyone liked me, so I ended up settling for the jerks,” Hosler said. “I ended up kissing a lot of guys, even ones I didn’t even like that much, simply because I had no confidence.”

Meanwhile, Hosler said that she was feeling a lot of pressure to get married from her extended family.

As her cousins started to get married, Hosler said her extended family began to question why she was still single.

“I remember one time in particular when my aunt was chewing me out about why I wasn’t dating or in a serious relationship,” Hosler said. “She said that it was my fault I was single because I wasn’t doing it right.”

The average age for American men and women to get married is at a record high.

The average age for men to get married is 29, and for women, it’s 27, according to an article by The Huffington Post. 

These statistics differ from the average age for marriage amongst members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The average age for marriage among young adults is 23, according to Deseret News.

Despite these statistics, Hosler said she was not worried about getting married by the time she hit her senior year.

“I started to gain more confidence, and I realized that I could do a lot with my life if I was single,” Hosler said. “So, I considered moving to Washington D.C. or Oregon, maybe go to law school, maybe teach abroad; I started to realize all of the possibilities.”

After graduation, Hosler met her husband in their home evening group. They got married in 2014.

Hosler said that looking back, she would not change anything.

“I am glad that everything worked out the way it did,” Hosler said.

So for those graduating single—there is nothing to worry about.

Stephanie Bisoni, a senior majoring in international studies, said she is not worried at all.

“I don’t feel any anxiety at all about graduating single,” Bisoni said. “I didn’t come to this school to get married. I came here to go to school.”

Bisoni said that while she feels like there is pressure to get married from people at school, she does not really pay attention to it.

“I’m not married right now because I chose not to be,” Bisoni said. “I’ve always believed it’s better to build my life the way I want it to be, and then focus on dating and marriage. I guess some people would call that selfish, but it is my life, and I have the right to decide how best to live it. “

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