I Am A Baylor Student and I Hate Ring By Spring

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, if you go to Baylor University then you’ve probably heard the phrase “Ring by Spring.” The idea is that a girl will get engaged to their significant other by the spring semester of her senior year. When I first learned about this absurd tradition I thought “there’s no way anyone takes this phrase seriously,” but man was I wrong. There are people who attend college in pursuit of an “MRS. degree” instead of following their own passions and building on their strengths. This stigma leaves us in one of two mindsets: For the people in relationships, they face pressure to marry at the age of 22 and for people not in relationships, they feel insecure and unsuccessful in their college career. 

The unnecessary pressure that this simple phrase brings constantly weighs down on college girls. For me personally, I go through points in the semester where I question why I’m not in a relationship. Am I not pretty enough? Not strong enough in my faith? Not smart enough? These questions would constantly race through my brain and leave me emotionally exhausted. Despite the fact that we should be coming to college pursuing a career, this “ring by spring” culture has become so prevalent on campus that it’s almost become a societal norm to be searching for an “MRS. degree.” Many girls are left feeling lesser and unsatisfied if they aren’t in a relationship and with the transition to college already being difficult, we don’t need to be adding the role of wife to the mix. Why do we put all of our value into whether we’re in a relationship or not? 

On the flip side, girls who are in a relationship feel pressure to get engaged by the end of their senior year even if they don’t feel prepared for that commitment. Some of the girls that I have talked to have even said that they don’t feel ready to get engaged but that they feel the pressure that if they don’t by the end of their senior year, they’ll end up breaking up with their boyfriend. Why do we need to rush into a lifelong commitment right after college? Why can’t we focus on graduating and finding financial stability and building on our relationships before fully committing to them? 

This culture is unhealthy and it needs to change. Ladies, please hear me when I say that it is OKAY to not be in a relationship or engaged by the end of college. How can you expect someone else to love you if you can’t love yourself first? Instead of allowing your self-worth to be defined by your relationship with others, define your own self-worth. A culture shift must occur. Stop pursuing an “MRS. degree” and start pursuing a degree in what makes you happy, whether that be journalism, biology, music, etc. start pursuing yourself. By lessening the pressure put on college girls to be in a relationship and allowing them to first pursue their own passions, we’ll start to see students happier and with a more positive view of themselves.