Princeton alumna Susan Patton wrote an open letter to women at the Ivy League university urging them to find a spouse before they graduate. But is that really a good idea and would you want to spend your uni years husband-hunting? MyDaily discusses...
MyDaily Editor Sara McCorquodale, 29, on why settling down with a boyfriend from her student days would have been a huge mistake
If I'd married any of the guys I dated at university, I'd be miserable. Actually, I'd be divorced. Why? Well, I had the worst taste in men in the whole world. The checklist of what my "type" was went like this:
1. Must look like one of The Strokes
2. Must have seen Radiohead live more than once.
3. Must play guitar or (at least) be in a band.
4. Must be a writer (similar to Ted Hughes if poss).
5. Must enjoy afternoon drinking and not be judgemental about my smoking.
6. Must dress slightly Scandinavian.
I appreciate anyone who might think this is an exaggeration of the truth, but I actually did jot the above down into my first year scrapbook and abide by all these rules for a good two and half years of my university career. No, I don't get the Scandinavian thing either. I'm not sure I got it then.
Anyway, my point is that most people would rather stab themselves repeatedly in the eye than marry the person they went out with at university and really need no nonsense mothers who'll tell them this, not mental Patton mothers who'll suggest an engagement.
I know this because when I was 19, and genuinely thought I was going to marry the boy I was with, I revealed my thoughts to my mother over tea and to this day I'm grateful for her wake-up-call style response. "Don't be so stupid," she said. "You're too young and far too hungover." Never has a woman been so spot on.
Daisy May Sitch, 25, is MyDaily's Style Writer. She says knowing who you are at 19 is hard enough without having to decide who you want to marry too
I hate to break it to you Mrs Patton, but your words on finding men suitable for marriage at university? Really not wise. "Never again [will women] have this concentration of men who are worthy". Er, blokes really tend not to be prince-charming material and besides, who knows what they want at freshers' week besides a whole heap vodka-fuelled fun?
Deciding on the course, the campus, the uni-appropriate clobber is all hard enough when your 19 - but holding down a full-time relationship and pursuing marital bliss too? Are you actually kidding me. My fellow English Literature students - the fellas - failed to a) pitch up for most lectures/ seminars compos mentis b) refrain from quoting John Donne and c) be even CLOSE to my type (despite not actually knowing what my type was). I'd have had more luck with the ladies, though that would stray from Patton's idyllic "Princeton man" match-making.
My issue with Patton's letter is no woman knows who she really is at 19 let alone who she might be cool with spending the rest of her life with - talk about signing your life away. I mean, every gal needs a good plan - a map, a rough sketch, an inkling - but a potential husband? I don't think so.
MyDaily's Celebrity Reporter Ellen Stewart, 23, argues university isn't the only place to find a man who matches your intelligence
"For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you," says Patton. Clearly she's never experienced university life this side of the pond.
So according to Patton, I - a girl who went to a pretty decent uni - surely must've snagged myself a husband who surpasses or meets my level of intelligence by now. This is a man who I shall never tire of and who I will love unconditionally until death do us part.
It hasn't exactly turned out like that for me, and d'you know what? I'm fine about it. Actually I'm more than fine about it. When I was 19 (aka the prime age for hubby-hunting according to Patton) I was a bit of a douche and the boys I associated myself weren't much better.
I used to sit around in my genie bottle-esque bedroom (wall hangings, incense, yada, yada, you know the drill) listening to African drumming, rocking a bindi and plotting an occupation of the library for reasons I can't remember.
My point is I'm not that girl anymore and those boys are not those boys either. University isn't THE only place to find a bloke on your "level". And who's to say you even want a bloke on your "level". Personally, I have a massive superiority complex so I'd quite like to be the clever one. Just don't tell Patton.