Happy New Year indeed

By Luke Wilusz

I think it’s safe to say that I started my new year with a good deal more excitement than anybody I know. At the stroke of midnight, beneath the ball drop in downtown Blue Island, against a backdrop of excited cheers and fireworks lighting up the sky, I asked Rebecca, my girlfriend of more than four-and-a-half years, to marry me. And she said yes. Or, to be more accurate, she said, “Yeah,” while nodding excitedly, laughing and trying to fight back tears. So I think I did something right.

I realize that when most people my age approach the end of their college careers, they are typically more focused on finding jobs and beginning their professional careers or moving on to graduate school to continue their education. Getting married and planning a wedding are usually the last things on their minds.

However, I couldn’t think of a better time for the two of us. Finishing college and starting a new chapter in our lives offers the perfect opportunity to break off on our own and start a life together. It’s the turning point where I will stop being a student after 16 consecutive years of schooling and have to become a “real adult,” and I want to go through that transition with the person with whom I want to spend the rest of my life. That’s not to say that jobs and careers aren’t a priority—if anything, they’re even more important now that we know we’ll need to support ourselves and live independently. There’s nothing that says you can’t have a stable, committed relationship and a successful career, and the fact that we’re younger than the average matrimonial age doesn’t mean that we need to sacrifice one of these things in favor of the other. It might be difficult, and we’ll almost certainly run into one sort of financial hardship or another, but it’s our decision to go through that together, and I am eagerly looking forward to it.

We’ve both been lucky enough to be able to live at home with our parents and avoid most of the living costs incurred by typical college students. We’re going to take full advantage of that after we graduate and take a year to focus on getting jobs and saving up money so that we can afford to live on our own.

In other words, we’re going to be smart and responsible about it, rather than rush into a marriage unprepared so we can promptly proceed to wallow in poverty and starve to death.

I’m sure that next week I’ll go back to using this space to write about video games or comics or technology or one of my countless geeky passions. For now, though, I’d just like to thank Rebecca—because I know she reads this every Monday—for making me the happiest and luckiest guy in the world.