Double Duty

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We have all been told that hard work pays off in the end. The same advice rings true regarding the area of marriage. Being a college student and a spouse is just another one of those things in which the rewards outweigh the work. The toughest part was learning how to balance all of our commitments. We will be the first to admit we are not perfect; and we definitely do not have it all figured out. However, through our time together we have found three basic guidelines that help us to be successful.

The first is being adamant about scheduling time for each other. It seems silly to think that it would be difficult to find time to spend with the person who lives with you and sees you everyday. But in reality that person is often taken for granted. We work hard to avoid falling into this rut by creating quality time with one another. We enjoy going to dinner and movies like any other couple, but our favorite thing to do together is enjoy the outdoors (specifically camping, biking, and disk golfing). Every night we take turns praying out loud for one another, which has been the biggest thing that has strengthened our marriage.

The second is being proactive about our school. It is easy to let schoolwork slide when you are involved in school activities, work part time, volunteer, and have a spouse. We have found the best way to counter this is to do our homework ahead of time instead of waiting until last minute. Sometimes this means giving up our free time between classes, but it also prevents a lot of stress.

Finally, we try to “zoom out” and refocus on the big picture. We continually remind ourselves, this is just one test, one paper, one bill, or one step back. Then when we compare it to the grand scheme of life and it doesn’t mean all that much. Putting things in perspective like this helps us to align ourselves with the truth that our lives are a vapor compared to eternity. It’s not worth getting all bent out of shape if things don’t always go our way. This rule above all else, keeps us sane.

There is no magic concoction for success in being a married college student. Just like anything else worthwhile, it takes time, energy, and patience. But there is no greater commitment more rewarding.

Curtis & Jessica Ward, Married July 17, 2010