Scrolling through her Facebook and Instagram home pages, senior biological sciences major Amani Mohammed said she is not surprised to see engagement posts one after the other.
“Personally, I want pursue my education first before ever thinking about a guy,” she said.
According to VOGUE Magazine, the term “engagement season” has been coined in America to recognize the heightened number of engagements. Engagement season occurs from Thanksgiving until Valentine’s Day. The idealness of the season leaves plenty time to plan and host a wedding throughout the rest of the year, whether it is summer, fall or the next winter.
WeddingWire estimates that 17 percent of engagements occur on the same 10 days each year, with nearly 40 percent of engagements occurring between November and February.
Southern Miss alumna Nikki Smith was proposed to in August with no reason behind the timing other than planning for the wedding.
“Our wedding will be Nov. 25, 2017,” she said. “[Being engaged] is pretty amazing, because when we were dating, we talked about spending our lives together, but once you’re engaged, you know it’s happening. The commitment is there. And you get a pretty great new piece of jewelry.”
Smith said she got engaged for reasons she believes are the right ones.
“I care more deeply for him than any other person I’ve ever met,” Smith said. “Before I met him, I was in a really serious relationship that lasted three years. [I] dated my now fiancé, David Rowell, for less than a year and we were engaged. It just goes to show the amount of time in a relationship really doesn’t matter. When you know, you just know.”
According WeddingWire, on average, couples are engaged for 12 to 13 months before getting married. For Smith, it will have been 15 months.
“Fitting in wedding planning and time together around our work and class schedules is difficult,” she said. “And also, since he doesn’t know where he will get a job after graduation, and I’m already establishing a career here, planning for the future is kind of hard considering places to live and things like that.”
Nursing student Lauren English got engaged in December 2015 with a planned wedding date to be May 2017. English was not expecting the big question until her now fiancé, Josh, proposed.
“I was actually very surprised because we had talked about getting engaged in the fall of 2016, but Josh said he knew we were both at that place in our relationship, and so, he felt the timing was right.”
English is in a long distance engagement, with both her and her fiancé still in college. She says being in school and far apart has had a significant impact on their engagement.
“We are getting married in May because that is when he will graduate and we can actually be in the same city,” she said. “It also can be stressful. I am in nursing school and he is majoring in engineering so we cannot always find time to talk to each other as often as we would like to.”
While being engaged in college sounds like a stressful situation, English and her fiancé find the joys in it.
“I love being engaged,” she said. “Many people get excited about planning a wedding, but my favorite part has been the advice and counsel we have received from so many different people. People say ‘plan for a marriage, not a wedding,’ so I have really tried to soak up every bit of direction we have received from others.”
Smith said if there was one piece of advice she would give to single girls, it would be to enjoy their college years without worrying about settling down.
“I wish I’d spent less of my time in college worrying about relationships and getting engaged,” Smith said. “I think rushing things like that leads to being with the wrong person.”