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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

People in Utah get married too young--my roommates and I plan to resist

By Sarah Reale

When Derek walked in on his wife Adison with his best friend Mark, he moved to Seattle and fell in love with Meredith. When Meredith slept with Derek she didn't know he was married. And when the Chief slept with Dr. Grey, he knew she was married, and he was married too.

Thursday nights at my apartment are more commonly known as Grey's Anatomy Nights. This popular television show started its third season this September, and according to Wikipedia, brought in 25.14 million viewers for the season premier. Viewers are enthralled in the adulterous, scandalous relationships and the term "'until death do you part" on Grey's Anatomy is more of a flexible statement.

Every week a bunch of girls in Utah sit around and watch Grey's Anatomy, but how they perceive marriage is far different than how it is displayed on television. The minute the majority of girls from Utah graduate from high school they have one goal in mind: getting hitched.

"I am from California; getting married was never a big deal where I'm from, and almost all of my friends from high school are single still," said Chelsea Spath, a recent Utah State graduate. "But when I came to Utah it seemed like everyone was talking about it like it was some kind of competition."

Now that Spath has graduated she is pursuing her doctorate in audiology at the University of Utah. "When I tell people that I am getting my doctorate they seem impressed, but they always seem to bring up the inevitable question: so are you dating anyone?"

According to Utah marriage statistics on www.utahmarriage.org, the median age at first marriage in Utah is groom: 23, bride: 21, and the median age at first marriage in United States is groom: 26.8, bride: 25.1.

"If I would have married the guy I dated my freshman year, it would have never worked out. I was just not ready; I had so much growing up to do," said Spath.

It's no doubt Utahns are getting married young, and before they are ready. According to the same site, Utah's divorce rate is higher than the rest of the nation. Utah's divorce rate is 4.3 per 1,000 population, where the United States divorce rate is 4.1. And 18 percent of divorces in Utah occur in the first year of marriage. Even though they aren't all committing adultery like Grey's Anatomy, they are finding themselves in failing marriages.

"I just feel like I have been pressured since I started school in Utah. All of my friends are married and most of them have kids," said Spath, "I just don't feel like I'm ready to get married, and I don't feel like I need to anytime soon. I'm only 22 years old."

Some adults get married before they have even lived on their own. Their first experience living outside of their parent's house is married life. This extreme adjustment added onto all of the new living arrangements and waking up to someone new next to you, can make any little fight over finances or cleaning escalate into a gigantic argument.

"I have a theory. You should see someone every season of the year. People change when the weather gets cold and warm, and if you can date someone at least through an entire year, hitting every season and you still feel like you should get married, you will probably be okay," said Spath.

Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., is the leading expert for PerfectMatch.com, author of Everything You Know About Love and Sex Is Wrong, and answers relationship questions online at www.lifetimetv.com. When a 19-year-old asked her how long she should date someone before they get married, she replied, "First of all, at the age of 19 you shouldn't be thinking of marrying anyone. You have so many adventures ahead of you. Besides, by the time you're 22, you and your beloved probably will have outgrown each other."

Schwartz continues by saying, "When you think about marrying your beloved, you should feel a giant yes echoing through your heart, body and brain. If one of you isn't ready yet, talk about it."

"I think people in Utah are so worried about not getting married, they settle for the first thing that comes around," said Spath.

The pressures to get married in Utah are high, and those that are over 21 and not married, feel like a unique minority. There is even a group on the online college network, Facebook, called, "I am 21 and Not Married...or On a Mission!"

Schwartz also added with the advice, "Marriage is a serious commitment on so many levels. It's vital to start sorting out your concerns and issues before you plunge into getting married. Don't go into it thinking that everything will work out. That's how divorce lawyers earn all their money."

All my roommates don't plan on getting married before we graduate, which is this spring. Although we will, religiously, watch Grey's Anatomy every week, go to class and sit next to the cute married guy that has three kids, go to all of our friends' wedding showers, and watch all of our closest guy friends date freshmen.

"I think getting this far, living where I'm living, and not getting married is just fine. I think it is an accomplishment. I know ten years from now I will have accomplished all I wanted and I will be successful,'' said Spath.

NW
MK

Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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