Although ‘real life’ hasn’t started, engaged undergrads make a big commitment

Posted on Feb 14 2019 - 5:50am by Kassidy Desnoyer

While some college students feel like their lives haven’t even started, others find themselves taking huge steps toward their futures, including getting engaged. With many college engagements happening over winter break, social media seems to be buzzing with proposal pictures and announcements.

Being engaged or married in college makes for a different lifestyle, bringing both highs and lows. It can be difficult to balance the emotional and financial responsibilities of commitment with classes, but having a spouse around can mean there is someone to help and support you.

Peyton Billington and Addie Keller. Photo courtesy: Sydney Dunn

Both in the midst of their senior year, Joey McPherson proposed to Taylor Metz in the fall. McPherson, a managerial finance major, and Metz, a marketing and corporate relations major, both knew that they wanted to get married young if they found that special someone.

The two were old friends from Southaven, but after they ran into each other at Walmart while buying dorm decorations, Metz said, they became inseparable. McPherson and Metz are set to wed this August, on a significant day in their relationship.

“We booked our wedding date (for) the same day we both started classes together at Ole Miss freshman year, which makes it even more special,” Metz said.

Metz also explained that there are many benefits to getting engaged while still in college.

“I wouldn’t have made it through college without (Joey),” Metz said. “Having someone with you who understands everything you’ve been through and everything you hope to accomplish makes that process less stressful.”

Peyton Billington, who went to school in Indiana to be a physical therapy assistant and now works in Oxford, also recently proposed to his girlfriend of six years, senior biology major Addie Keller. Billington acknowledged that, though he sees benefits for his relationship, there are different pros and cons for every couple.

“In some ways, there are benefits to getting married young, but I believe every situation is very different,” Billington said. “For us, this felt like the right step in furthering our relationship after six years.”

Billington and Keller met during her freshman year of high school and have been together since then. Keller said that taking the next steps just seemed right.

“Once I left for college, our time apart made it even more clear that I wanted to take the next steps with him by my side,” Keller said.

Keller admitted she didn’t expect to be engaged so young, but that was all before she met Billington. She said her family and friends have been supportive and have said they can’t wait to see her bright future.

“I want to go to medical school, and I always knew that it would take a lot of years of hard focus, so, truthfully, I thought I wouldn’t get married until after that,” Keller said. “Once we started dating, I knew I wanted to marry him, and I definitely didn’t want to wait until after medical school.”

Seniors Taylor Mentz and Joey McPherson got engaged last semester and are getting married next August. Photo courtesy: Shelby Prince

Knowing that Ole Miss was an important part of Keller’s life ever since he introduced her to the school while attending a baseball camp, Billington proposed to Keller in Oxford in December. Keller said the Ole Miss community has always been a special aspect of their relationship.

“He proposed to me on Dec. 8 on the Square, overlooking the Christmas lights. I was so shocked, and it could not have been more perfect,” Keller said. “He had an engagement party planned with my friends at The Graduate after we had an awesome dinner together. The surprises kept coming, and it was truly the best day of my life.”The impact of getting married while in college can be financial, emotional and social, but it’s possible to be happy and fulfilled, even with the stresses that come with being married while trying to attend classes and meet responsibilities.