Features

Married life at Bethel

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“It is very exciting to be married at Bethel College,” said senior Mahala Rethlake. “Everyone is supportive and interested in my marriage, and often there will be students and staff checking in on how it’s going so far and I really appreciate that.” Rethlake is one of many students who enrolled in the tradition college route after high school and married while still studying at Bethel. Rethlake now lives with her husband in married housing just off campus. According to Rethlake, married couples still have to abide by most of the life covenant, but do not have a curfew. “Opposed to living in normal dorms, I have found that living in married housing I have a little more freedom,” said Rethlake. “It is also very convenient to share an entire house with only my husband. I now have enough space for my own office so I can study without having to leave the comfort of my residence.” Because of the extra space married housing provides Rethlake said living as a married woman has challenged her to prioritize her school work with the normal business of her schedule. “It has been difficult to prioritize all the things going on in my life, but at the same time it can be easy because of how supportive my husband is,” she said. Senior Chase Pinion at Bethel said, “going to a different school than my wife has made it easier for the both of us to concentrate on our school work.” Pinion and his wife tied the knot in 2013 and currently go to separate colleges. While Pinion studies here, his wife attends Ball State University. “It would be a lot harder for my wife to stay focused in school if we went to the same college, Pinion said. “She is a nursing major and needs to concentrate a lot of her attention to her studies, so that is a good reason why we attend different schools.” With all of the responsibility a marriage brings, the biggest transition from dating to marriage was the financial aspect. Pinion not only had to provide for himself but now his wife, too. “I definitely feel more of an adult now that I am providing for myself and my wife,” he said. “I am also making more decisions now such as when I should cut the grass. Before I was married my parents told me when to cut the grass, but now I have to decide for myself.” With marriage comes sacrifice and Pinion certainly has already had experience dealing with sacrifice. He had to give up playing intramurals on weekends so he could see his wife. “I have had to be a man and sacrifice things, but I am happy to do it so I can see my wife as much as possible.” With such a big step in life like marriage, one has to be proactive with their situation. This was certainly the case for Bethel senior Jimmy Bennett. “We nailed down a lot of details before we decided to get married,” said Bennett. “From how much rent we would have to pay for married housing to the food on out table to the gas in our cars. After we had estimated how much we would be spending on all of that, we decided we were in a good enough situation financially to get married.” Bennett attributes part of their decision to the pair’s close family. They knew they could get supports if they got into trouble. Pinion also based part of his decision on his financial situation. “We both have scholarships to our own schools, so when we graduate we will have very little debt to pay,” said Pinion. For other couples the decision was based on their feelings and timing. It just made sense for Rethlake and her fiancée at the time to get married. They had been dating for six years and they knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. “It just felt natural and it made sense for us. We also knew that Bethel had the right environment and amenities to fit our marriage,” said Rethlake. Bennett said, “Bethel does a great job of providing close range and convenient marriage housing. I don’t feel neglected from campus life at all. Living in married housing allows me to have the privacy my wife and I need along with keeping me connected with the Bethel community.”
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