Everything I'd Rather Have by 25 Than an Engagement Ring

If you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with in college, then getting married after graduation might be for you. And that's amazing! Being with someone who loves and supports you can be the best feeling in the world, and a marriage to this person can mean a lifetime of happiness. That being said, it’s not an ideology that should be forced on young women (just as no ideology should be). 

So here's what's so troubling: when I come home for breaks, my family asks if I have a boyfriend yet. My hometown friends ask why I'm still single. To them, it seems unfathomable that I might have made a personal choice to stay out of relationships in college, just as someone else might have made a personal choice to get married in college (do your thing, girl). As a college student I'm questioned more about my boyfriends and hookups than I am about my classes or internships. I'm not here to "get a ring by spring" (and I don't believe any woman who has found herself engaged in college came to school for this either). I came to learn, I came to get a degree and I came to forge a future for myself. Getting married might be the key to happiness for some, but it isn't for me, and that should be ok. So here's everything I'd rather have by 25 than an engagement ring. 

My own place.

No parents, no roommates. Even if it’s miniscule, I want a space to call my own.

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Complete financial independence.

No more mooching off of my parents’ Costco card or Netflix subscription. By 25, I want to be thriving financially.                                                     Via Giphy

A palette for good wine.

At 22, I’ll drink whatever drugstore wine I can get my hands on, and I’ll enjoy it. But by 25, I hope I have a more refined palette to detect things like aromas and nutty undertones (what are those ???).                                                                   Via Giphy

A passport full of stamps.

I want to be shaped by my own unique experiences with new places, cultures and languages, not by my partner and their experiences.

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A sense of self worth.

Women are expected to refute every compliment they receive. If you agree when someone tells you you’re talented, smart or beautiful, you’re automatically deemed conceited. By 25, I don’t want to need validation from others, but to know my own worth.

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Equal pay.

By 25, I want to make the same amount—dollar for dollar—as a man with my same job description.                                                                                Via Giphy

A stacked bookshelf.

It’s hard to resist the urge to binge watch during my free time, but by 25, I’d like to be nurturing my mind, and I’d like a floor to ceiling bookshelf to prove it.

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A list of healthy recipes I can actually make

As much as I ~slay~ spaghetti with Prego (I don’t), having some other dinner options with actual nutritional value is something I’m working on.

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