For some college students, graduation bells are not the only bells ringing.
College can bring endless possibilities one of those being marriage.
Gwendolyn Meador, a journalism major from Lubbock, and her husband, Josh Meador, a general studies major from San Antonio, met in a class they shared together.
“Our first semester at Tech, we were both taking a statistics class,” Josh said. “I was a biochemistry major and she was a journalism major, so not very many classes that overlap there.”
After being in the class together the whole semester, they decided to go on a date.
“We went on our first date and he was going to leave to go home for Christmas break and work,” Gwen said. “He tried to ask me out on a second date, and I was scared so I said no, and then I ended up going and then all throughout Christmas break we FaceTimed and texted.”
They said they both knew their bond and connection was once in a lifetime, and they decided to tie the knot in March.
“We knew we wanted to get married pretty early on,” Gwen said. “Now we’re married.”
Rachel Homesley, a public relations major from Lubbock, married her husband last March.
“So, I got married because I found someone that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and we were always serious moving forward,” Homesley said. “So, the next step in our relationship was to get married.”
She is a believer in marriage, Homesley said, and she was never someone who felt the need to have a wild lifestyle.
While marrying your sweetheart in college can sound like a dream, there are obstacles the Meador family faced. However, they had support from both their parents.
“They knew that we really loved each other,” Gwen said. “But, some people might have parents that don’t support it at all, and that would be really huge for someone who is really close to their family.”
Juggling school and working full time have not been easy, Gwen said.
“Money wise, it’s been hard," she said. "We both work as much as we can literally, while going to school full time and trying to take care of ourselves and have a healthy relationship, that’s been hard. As hard as it might sound, it’s not that hard when you love someone.”
Since the couple is married, they now have access to more financial aid. Some other advantages they said to getting married in college is the growth experienced.
“I’ve grown so much as a person in so many different ways,” Gwen said. “Being responsible for another human… I’ve also just learned how to be an adult honestly.”
The Meador family saw what future they wanted and both decided to work for it.
“Neither of us worked our first few semesters, but whenever we decided that we wanted to get married, that we really wanted to try to make that happen, we decided then that we needed to go ahead and get jobs,” Josh said.
The Meadors' decision to wait until they were married to move in together was an encouraging factor in them wanting to get married while still in college.
“We didn’t live together before we got married, so there were a lot of things that we wanted together,” Gwen said.
Josh said he felt the same way.
“We both felt strongly about waiting to live together until we were married,” Josh said. “That was a big, encouraging factor. We hated when there were tests, we wouldn’t get to see each other because I would be studying at my place and she would be studying at hers. Even if we did get to hang out, we would have to part ways.”
Though the couple is young, they said they felt ready, and that is all that mattered to them.
“In my opinion, if you know, you know,” Gwen said. “What’s the difference between doing it two years later when you’re still probably going to be broke. Timing is never going to be right for anything.”
The Meador family said they suggest not letting money be an obstacle, because in the end, it is worth it. Around the time of their wedding, not everything was picture perfect.
“During that time, I was studying for my dental admissions test and that was miserable, that was a month and a half of just pretty much eight-to-10-hour days studying and doing practice tests where I wouldn’t be able to talk to her for six hours. It was just crazy,” Josh said. “We still made it happen. I still found the time to get that done to score well and to get married. It was, of course, worth it.”