The calendar might say August but the hints of yellow, red and orange on the trees suggests autumn is soon calling to stop these halcyon days and return us to a state of responsiblity. Those of us who are out of school and working in the non-education sector ultimately know summer is all but meaningless, yet who can't fondly remember preparing for school during those way-off simpler times.
Back to School. Its almost a state of mind.
With school, we get the barage of articles reminding us of what we need for it; think supplies and tuition, but we also get a slew of articles explaining salary and employment statistics among the college educated, although one statistic often not repeated, that is college attainment and marriage. Gone are the days of educated women destined to be educated spinsters, women are graduating higher education at a higher rate than men more than in anytime in history. Educated men are marrying educated women, both are making more money and staying married. Educated women are, surprisingly, very likely to become stay-at-home mothers.
Is a degree so important to a succesful marriage?
Career opportunities aside, college women and men will age at least four years from commencement to graduation. In addition, they are more likely to delay marriage after graduation until they find their first job. Simply put: they marry later. They are less likely to have a child out of wedlock. They also tend to work in fields with other graduates and therefore have a better chance marrying within their educational level. It is perhaps the reason why a woman's marriage chances is higher with a degree than those with a high school diploma and much higher than those who dropped out of high school.
Knowledge of a subject is not the glue which binds the marriage together.
The ability to rationalize might be the key to successful post-college marriages. Perhaps the popular 90s sitcom Friends reflects the post-grad dating world. More picky, less likely to "settle". With maturity comes confidence, and a well paying job. Women and men know what they want from a partner and will look for someone who matches what they want. The cold reality is early marriages are less likely to be a product of looking at what the other partner brings to the table but rather based on emotion. It is separating emotions and looking at the subject in front of you is when you weigh the benefits and cons of a marriage partner. This might sound cruel but the history of marriage is ripe with marriage deals made and broken based upon the character of the potential fiance. You want children and he doesn't, best of luck trying to change that. Perhaps one more delayed marriage but also one less divorce.
Boys and girls be ambitious.
As the new school year begins, whether kindergarten, high school or college, lets not look at our educational career as a means to an end, but rather a stepping stone to a more fulfilling life. Parents, push your daughters and sons to love learning and emphasis the importance of college education. Even though you might delay your first grandchild you will give them confidence and stability. And that is the most important gift you can give them.
For more information on education and marriage:
Growing evidence for the divorce divide.
Motherhood and educated women.
The Marriage Gap.
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