What's a -- single, college-educated
-- Mormon girl to do?
By Kandice Crompton
February 11, 2009 | I don't go to BYU, nor have I
ever, so this isn't quite as shocking as it could be,
but it's still not a situation most LDS girls think
that they will be in someday.
I spend a lot of time wondering what to do next. Should
I stay in Logan? In Cache Valley? Heck, should I even
stay in the country? Should I consider graduate school,
or law school? Should I take some time off and volunteer,
or dive into a job immediately?
It has recently hit me that I can go anywhere and do
anything I have ever dreamed of. There is nothing holding
me back. That's right, folks, I am an active female
member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
who is graduating from college. Single.
My parents married at 19, a year out of high school.
I went to high school with a girl who was engaged before
graduation, and went to my first wedding reception for
a friend at the beginning of my freshman year of college.
I have scores of female cousins, all of whom, save one,
were married young, and all of whom have children. With
the exception of that one cousin, whom I admire greatly,
I am an anomaly in my family, and apparently in the
LDS community as a whole.
Growing up I fell into the trap that many LDS girls
seem to fall into, that of believing that once you graduate
from high school your job is to find a husband. Growing
up I always imagined myself going to college, but my
dreams in any kind of professional capacity stopped
by the age of 22 (and for anyone who would like to send
cards, I turn 22 on Feb. 19), because I just assumed
that by then I would be married and supporting my husband.
Unless something absolutely unbelievable happens in
the next eight days, I am obviously not doing either
of those things.
Going to church with my parents now is like poking
a beehive with a stick -- just asking for trouble. When
I went on a trip three weeks ago to the home ward, a
woman I have known for years skipped the formalities
and immediately asked me if I'd been "given any diamonds
recently." This was not the first time such a situation
had arisen. After saying the required (or so I thought
until "diamonds" lady) "Hello," I have been swarmed
with questions, from "Are you seeing anyone," "Would
you like to go out with my nephew/grandson/pool boy?
He's very attractive, and lonely too, you two would
get along," to the very blunt "You're not getting any
younger, you know."
What these people don't seem to understand is the one
fact I find most important. I'm happy!
Contrary to what most people are probably thinking
in the back of their heads, I am truly happy to be graduating
from college with my BS degree, and not my MRS. There
is nothing to hold me back come May. I have applied
for jobs in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle and Dallas.
I've sent for information concerning volunteer opportunities
abroad, and even spent some time with the Peace Corps
Web site. Because I have only had support myself through
college, my spring breaks, as well as the past four
summers, have all been memorable and full of trips to
sometimes exotic, sometimes random, locations. I have
dated some fantastic guys throughout school, I have
made great friends and had experiences I never would
have had as someone's wife.
I know there are others out there in a similar situation.
It is time for us to take a stand. We are not a group
for others to pity. We enjoy life just like everyone
else, perhaps more in some ways! Getting married is
a big decision, one I don't think should be made lightly
just so that other people will "approve" of your life's
direction. Marriage is definitely not a bad thing, but
neither in being single, so to all you married people
out there, please stop trying to set me up with your
new husband's best friend's brother.
Response from a reader, 02/013/09
Being a single non-Mormon woman, your article really
hit home. So many people cannot understand how a woman
can be single and be happy. I've never had the desire
to marry & raise a family; spending time with my
nephews & nieces is more than enough. And I hate
to break it to you, but at 52 I'm still getting people
trying to set me up with "the perfect man."
Only now he's usually either a widower or divorced and
comes with kids.
Hang in there! The world truly is at your feet. As a
single, successful worker, I've traveled through all
seven continents, met a whole bunch of people, continue
to spend time with a wide & varied circle of friends
(female & male), and am very happy with my life
Terrie Wierenga, Richmond