Two students conducted a survey to discover student opinions about “ring by spring,” and received mixed results.
“Ring by spring” is the term used when a couple gets engaged by the spring semester of their senior year.
Mary Ellen Pipkin, a senior elementary education major from Dallas, and Katie Bell senior psychology major from Temple, had to make a documentary for an honors colloquium. Pipkin said they had three friends get engaged in one weekend and thought it would be funny to discuss engagements in their documentary.
“We wanted to get people’s views about ‘ring by spring,'” Pipkin said.
Pipkin and Bell are both members of the women’s social club Sigma Theta Chi. They posted the survey on the club’s Facebook page as well as the ACU Class of 2016 Facebook page. Pipkin said of the 46 females and five males who took the survey, half were single and the other half were a balance of dating, engaged and married.
“A lot of their answers were based on their relationship status,” Pipkin said. “Single people had less optimistic answers.”
In addition to the survey, Pipkin and Bell did video interviews with 11 friends. They put the interviews together in a short documentary, which they presented in class on Saturday. Pipkin said their project won two in-class awards: “Best LOL” and “Most Uncomfortable.”
Pipkin said the topic is interesting because it’s more prominent at Christian colleges such as ACU. She had three friends get engaged in one week, while her friends at state schools see the same number of engagements in a year. Pipkin said most people who took the survey think this is because of the pressure to get engaged in the Christian community. However, in the interviews, people said it’s more about Christian values like staying pure and starting families.
Pipkin’s parents were ACU students who got engaged their senior year of college.
“There’s a stigma that if you have ‘ring by spring’ you rushed into things,” Pipkin said. “But it worked for my parents.”
Cole Widder, freshman journalism major from Abilene, said he doesn’t judge couples because he doesn’t know their background. He said he was taught that getting to know someone is more important than getting a ring.
“It’s just too fast,” Widder said.
Colleen Mills, freshman biology pre-health major from Fort Worth, said “ring by spring” makes sense for seniors but not for freshmen. Mills is not in a relationship and said she is “focused on school work right now.”
“As a freshman, things are still changing a lot,” Mills said. “You still don’t know who you are yet.”