For most couples, the first year of marriage is described as
tough and challenging. The majority of couples who “survive” their first year
don’t spend 24 hours a day/7 days a week together either—but we do, and we
wouldn't have it any other way.
Our romance began at the mere age of fourteen, in the midst of a
Civics class. After high school, we entered into undergraduate at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign together, taking the same classes,
and living mere steps away from each other. Throughout our dating years, we
encouraged and motivated one another to strive to be better individually, which
only strengthened our relationship. The constant studying together and
competing against each other made us better. Ultimately, we decided on the same
dream of dental school and ended up at the University of Louisville School of
Dentistry two months after our wedding.
Starry-eyed and filled with the excitement that all first-year
students exude, we didn’t quite think through what school might be like as
married classmates with little time to ourselves. After the August break ended,
the fall semester picked up quickly and soon our conversations were constantly
dictated by school—from classes to classmates, school was all-consuming. As the
end of the fall semester neared, we were exhausted with school and talking
about it constantly. We made a pact to take at least one night out of our week
to spend time together and leave school out of the equation. This has allowed
us to take a break from school and take time to learn more about each other.
It has been a difficult transition, even when growing up
together, to compete against your best friend for the past eight years. When
dental school began, we thought that the competitiveness would come to a halt.
It didn’t. However, it turns out that we have learned to love one another more
and are quick to forgive and move on from arguing over the best way to drop a
box in operative lab!
Thinking about life after dental school is something we talk
about almost daily. With having hundreds of thousands of dollars in student
debt between the both of us, being frugal with our student loan money and
having a budget is something we both need to be successful with coming out of
After considering all the options of where to go after school,
there isn’t anything better than being back in our hometown of Mount Vernon,
Illinois with family and friends by our side. It has been great to be away for
undergraduate and dental school, but with both families living so close
together, and our community needing more dentists, you can’t pass up an
opportunity like that!
We have learned a lot about ourselves this past year. It’s been
fun, and sometimes difficult—but mostly wonderful. It’s a unique gift that
we’ve been given: to be married to our best friend, to be classmates, and to
still be madly in love. We are so thankful!