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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

I think we’ve all seen the clips of the controversial wedding vows going viral and maybe questioned, even if just for a second, if marriage is worth it. It’s no secret that more and more women are choosing not to get married, or at least waiting longer than before.

I’ve never wanted to get married. I don’t know if I ever will. I don’t want children either. I’m no stranger to hearing the shocked questions, or “you’ll change your mind” sentence over and over again, especially living in a culture where that traditional lifestyle is valued so much. But I think what fascinates me the most are those who were so certain that I’d change my mind, and have changed their own minds and attitudes when it comes to marriage and kids.

There have been reasons for this, obviously, such as newfound independence, different ways of living, and just growing older and deciding that maybe what we want won’t fit with the ideals of those around us. We get older, we go to school, we go to college, and everything that we were so sure about before, is starting to crumble. New dreams come about, and old ones fall apart. I have been watching Little Women again, so Jo’s speech at the end is on a loop in my head.

Now this isn’t a campaign against marriage, but rather more of an understanding to those who don’t want it. I’ve seen wonderful ones, but I’ve also seen terrible ones. Most of us, hopefully, can live in a time and place, where we can say we don’t want that life and still have a lovely future full of different love and happiness. We can accept the fact that with all the people on this world, not everyone is going to want the same thing and that’s okay.

I am scared of feeling lonely though. As someone who loves to be by myself, I always wonder when I’m going to get sick of it and hate my own company. It doesn’t help seeing stupid comments online saying that the only thing a woman is meant to do is be a mother and that loneliness is an epidemic, and even though I try not to let it affect me because it is stupid, it does. There’s only so much my anxiety can take.

But not wanting it, marriage and children, is okay. Again, not all of us are going to want the same thing. What I want is a life of travel and books and you know, to be that rich aunt that comes once every few months with a hundred presents and fascinating stories.

Inayah Mahmood is a third year transfer student at UCF, meant to graduate in 2025. She loves to read mystery books and write stories as well. She spends the weekend shopping or watching rom-coms.