When I was in high school, my teachers always told me that college was the best time of their lives. I heard the same from my mom. Being a college student offered you a world of opportunity and a life to really enjoy. It was the time of life that you got to focus on yourself, before stepping into the big-bad-world and having to deal with everyone else.
It wasn't exactly that way for Clark and me.
Not saying that it wasn't four of the greatest years of my life. Simply saying that we had to really work at balancing being teens/early twenties young adults with our marriage. What you learn when you get married is that marriage isn't easy. What you learn when you get married young is that marriage is extraordinarily difficult.
In the fall of 2009, I was a busy-body. I was in a sorority, I was working, I was taking classes I loved, I was an intern for the school paper, I was married, and I was loving life. Balancing everything seemed to give me a healthy load of stress. To me, there are two types of stress: good and bad. I was in the good.
Clark really wasn't.
It's not that he wasn't enjoying life, it's that Clark was struggling with his search. He had withdrawn from the four year college and started a degree with a community college. Then he decided that he wanted to move away from that and pursue another four year degree online. He was thinking of doing the Marine Corps as an officer. He wanted to be a pilot.
I was supportive.
I knew Clark needed to find whatever it was he was looking for. As long as he didn't stray from me and our commitment, I knew we would be ok.
However, because Clark was struggling, I had to give him more time. I had to reorganize, re-prioritize, and sometimes (a lot of the time) sacrifice things I wanted to do with friends or for school, and instead do things/spend time with him.
Many people didn't understand. I mean, 18-22 year olds aren't exactly the most mature people yet. Some of my sorority sisters barely acknowledged me simply because they all assumed I was no fun. When we went through "big-little" interviews, I got, "Oh, you're the married one!" Apparently that meant I was an old fart.
It was the same for other things outside of the sorority, too.
I missed our first date function for the sorority, homecoming, because Clark had gotten me tickets to see Michael Buble for our one year anniversary. I was beyond excited for the concert, but no one else seemed to be excited for me. It was a bigger deal that I was missing homecoming than it was for me to be going to see Michael Buble with my husband in celebration of one year of marriage.
It made me feel like I was in high school, sometimes. Like going to the school dance was more important than anything.
Over all, I'd say I did a good job. I learned what my priorities really were, as a student and a wife. Even if I made some poor decisions in the moment, I don't regret learning the "hard" way whatsoever.
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