Wedding bells ring across campus

Students may be stressing over their latest ten-page paper or 50-point exam, but try juggling all those study hours with wedding plans. Engaged students on campus are feeling the both the pressures and joys of school and matrimony, intertwined.

Some see such early engagements as an unnecessary stressor during an already high-strung period in a person’s life. Alycia McCullough, assistant director of Career Services, pointed out that narrowing your job search to one particular location based on where a partner will be can exacerbate the stresses of an already difficult task.

“Anytime you limit your job search—including geographically—you’re limiting the number of jobs you’re applying for and therefore the jobs you might receive offers for,” said McCullough. “Two people simultaneously looking for jobs in the same location can be very difficult.”

Erin Caskey, ’11, who is currently engaged to Allegheny alumnus Karl Duchmann, ’10, vouches for the positive aspects of being engaged as a college student.

“There haven’t been any second thoughts…it’s been relatively easy,” said Caskey.

The two have been engaged since last winter break and have planned their wedding to take place on June 5 in Fredericksburg, Va., near Caskey’s home.

Caskey added that people have been generally supportive of hers and Duchmann’s decision to become engaged during college.

“I always try to relay that it isn’t some sort of religious or super-conservative decision,” Caskey said.

“Our families have been very supportive,” she continued. “My mom’s been helping a lot with wedding plans, since I’m here [at Allegheny],”

Although her engagement didn’t last for long, Catherine Wargo, ’11, believed that the experience was an overall positive one. Wargo and her fiancé, Allegheny alumnus Tony Taliani, had been engaged for less than a week at the time of our interview.

Wargo shared a few special details about the proposal, which took place on the couple’s two-year anniversary.

“We went for a walk after dinner on the bridge…we don’t have any history on the bridge, but on the 13th plank he stopped and said some beautiful little speech,” Wargo said.

Her decision to say yes, she says, was a very easy one for her to make.

“I knew that I wanted this,” Wargo said. “[I like] knowing that I have a step to go to after college.”

The only negative aspects, she said, can be attributed to typically stress-inducing activites.

“I’m a senior, so I’m comping, going through the process of getting into med school, [and] I’m the CA of Baldwin,” Wargo said.

Wargo and Taliani have tentatively planned for the wedding to take place during July 2011.

“I’ll be going to med school, so after we’re married, we’ll move to wherever I get in,” Wargo said.

Her fiancé, who already has a master’s degree in secondary English education, will be looking for a teaching job wherever the couple ends up.

“Sometimes people are shocked since I am engaged so young,” said Emily Taylor, ’13, who became engaged during her first semester of college to Mike D’Astoli, ’13. “I do not look at it that way because he is the only person I want to be with forever.”

Not all students are as sure of the direction of their fast-paced lives, however, and many don’t think marriage holds promise for a stress-free future.

“It’s a bad idea,” said Rebecca Senehi, ’13. “Boys suck.”

That’s not to suggest, however, that Senehi has always had this cynical attitude towards marriage and the opposite sex.

“I used to have an engagement ring, and now he goes here,” Senehi said. “And now he’s terrible to me.”

Even students who haven’t experienced a broken engagement aren’t comfortable with getting so serious so soon.

“I feel like that’s ‘real life,’” said Steph Davis, ’13. “This isn’t ‘real life’ yet.”

“I’d probably wait until my late twenties, early thirties,” said Christian Detisch, ’11. “I’d like to establish myself first.”

But these hesitations aren’t necessarily engraved in gold.

“If I find some rich woman, I’d marry her when I’m 22,” Detisch said. “Then I wouldn’t have to be mature.”