I can go on and on about my opinion on Ring By Spring, and I have, but I thought who better to convey the thoughts surrounding this issue than other real college students.
1. Current Student
"I think it's really stupid honestly because it can really put pressure on people to make a rash decision on one of the biggest choices that they will make in their life.
Of course, I am not saying that everyone who buys into the ring by spring mentality makes a rash or bad choice, but I know it definitely weighs on people.
And for the people who have remained single for most of their time in college, it can make them feel behind.
I know that I have felt that way before. It also feeds into the concept of not being complete without a spouse or significant other. It's not healthy to not know how to live on your own and be independent.
The truth is, when you step outside the weird Christian bubble of dating standards or trends, most people don't get married until they are almost 30 which honesty seems to make more sense to me since there is still so much growth that happens in a person's 20s.
Overall I think it's really unhealthy, but that's not to say that it never works for people." - Anonymous, Current Student.
2. Current Student
"As someone who was in a serious long term relationship, ring by spring not only put a lot of pressure on my relationship, but it also messed with my mental health and my perception of myself and my relationship.
Well, all of these other people are getting married, why am I not? What's wrong with me and my relationship that my boyfriend doesn't want to marry me?
It also led to my Evangel counselor making me feel ashamed of myself and of my past decisions. As I was sharing these frustrations she told me that the only reason he would even marry me is for sex and since I had already made the decision to have sex before marriage he would never want to marry me.
I think a ring by spring is misogynistic, outdated, and harmful." - Anonymous, Current Student.
3. Former Student
"So my opinion about the whole ring by spring culture is this, if you have known the person for a very long time and the couple has prayed about it and they fasted and they get confirmation from God that it is a good idea to get married while still in college, then I would say go for it, but I think that is a very small percentage of people.
However, if it is just a couple that fell in love while in Bible College then I think it would be wise to wait until school is over with to get married because you have to plan a wedding and focus on school at the same time. I have seen it puts a lot of stress on couples.
Another reason why I believe couples abide by the whole ring by Spring culture is just so they can have sex with their significant other. I have seen couples get married while in school that is actually still in school and I know that they are struggling tremendously with all sorts of issues rather than be finances, school, social life, etc. because they rushed into marriage.
On the other hand, I have seen couples fall in love all bible college and plan to get married once they graduate even if that does mean that they have a longer dating period of anywhere from 1-2 years.
As a result of waiting until after graduation from what I have seen the couples haven't had those similar issues as couples who have gotten married while still in school. I believe a lot of this has to do with the fact that the couple moves away from Bible college and they start their own life together. I believe people need to mature a bit more before they get married and get married after they graduate. It causes a lot fewer headaches." - Anonymous, Former Student.
4. Former Student
"In my opinion, I think a ring by spring is a peer pressure concept. I think that timeline is ingrained in women and men, and it creates an expectation that people are trying to move fast in order to get married.
However, this should not be the case because these false expectations create more stress. I think that they should move slower, focus more on preparing for marriage, and save their time and money.
I think waiting until after graduation is the best way to start a marriage because you are both starting fresh. If people are to get married in college, they should seek counsel, think about the pros and cons of getting married early, and what hardships they may face first within their marriage.
I have seen a lot of couples struggle financially because they just wanted to get married and were in love with the idea of it. Therefore, their marriage suffers. Ring by spring is a concept that should not be put into our Christian culture because it is more damaging than good." - Anonymous, Former Student.
5. Former Student
"Ring by Spring is fine at first - not being a bible school person means that orientation was the first time I'd even heard of it. So, of course, being a West Coast girl I wasn't interested in dating as much as catapulting my career.
That being said, just because I didn't think it mattered didn't mean it didn't eventually affect me. Towards the end of my time, and while on dates during college, the topic of marriage came up way before I knew his favorite color!
It put a huge amount of pressure on my mindset going into "dating" and I've really had to reconcile that since being at college - which I think I'm doing a decent job of. Can it be harmful? Yes. Will it destroy you? No." - Anonymous, Former Student.
6. Current Student
I attended a Christian university for my first semester of college. On the first day of class, I vividly recall my professor mentioning the phrase "Ring by Spring." This was my first time hearing this phrase.
Soon after, I realized that many of my peers were either engaged, married, or had a family of their own. I graduated from a non-religious public high school; therefore, I was not used to those types of relationships. At the time, I was in a relationship with a young man who I fell in love with very quickly.
He and I began picturing our future together. He would frequently mention our future children in front of our friends which was rather alarming to them because of the newness of our relationship. I remember feeling offended whenever my roommate brought it up to me because I had never thought of his comments in a negative way. In November, I attended the wedding of an eighteen and nineteen-year-old.
I am so very happy for them but it was just so shocking to witness the marriage of two humans who are so just so young. In December, I saw dozens of Facebook posts of couples from the university getting engaged, married, and expecting a child. In the four months that I attended this university, I felt extreme pressure to be in a relationship with someone at all times. It was as if it was wrong to be single.
I felt as if I was being shamed for not being in a relationship. Many people, myself included, felt that same pressure and many of us ended up in toxic and abusive relationships because of the constant pressure to be in a relationship." - Anonymous, Current Student.