Put your dating on a checklist

Tamela Staples
A relationship with a significant other can be hard to handle while in college, but trust and time management are the keys, said Jalen Mims.
Mims, a sport and fitness management major from Bay Minette who was a junior in the spring, transferred to Troy from Talladega College in spring 2015 for a better school opportunity and a better relationship.
“It’s about maturity when it comes to relationships,” Mims said, reflecting on his relationship with Kayla Gordon, a psychology major from Dothan who was a junior in the spring. “You have to know if you are ready to be in one, if you are going to be able to trust the person, and if you are ready to invest your time.
“At the beginning of the semester, we made a schedule of when we will see each other. During the week we will focus on schoolwork, so that on the weekends we can spend all day together. We don’t have to worry about getting tired of or not having enough time for each other.”
William Jackson, a political science major from Chicago who was a sophomore in the spring, said that he was waiting to have a relationship for personal reasons.
“I chose not to have a relationship right now because I want to understand what makes me happy,” Jackson said. “I really want to be comfortable and love myself before I can love anybody.
“I think relationships take more than what most people are willing to give, such as undivided attention and commitment. Some people don’t know how to commit fully, so I am committed to myself.”
Troy Spectrum, which was founded as Gay Straight Alliance in 2006, is a safe zone for everyone on Troy campus to discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
The name was changed because the students wanted to make everyone on campus feel included. Troy Spectrum has a strict privacy policy; nothing is to be discussed outside the group.
“It is definitely easier to accept something when you understand it,” said Selena McEwen, a psychology major from Rockford who was a sophomore in the spring and Troy Spectrum public relations representative.
“When you know nothing about it, and just know stereotypical things you believe to be true, it gives you a negative approach to the subject.”
“Just come to our meetings and be open,” said Jana Wieser, an international relations major from Bremen, Germany, who was a graduate student in the spring, and Troy Spectrum president. “You don’t have to be gay, bi or lesbian. You can just meet us. We are a close-knit group, and we really have a family feeling.”
Whitney Montgomery, a criminal justice major from Camden who was a junior in the spring, said she had been with her boyfriend for six years when they got engaged after he came back from basic training.
Montgomery said Greek life had an effect on her relationship, but she managed to work it out by giving her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and her relationship the same amount of time.
“A lot did not change,” Montgomery said. “We’re best friends before anything. I still go out, but it’s with other couples, not usually to a club.
“Don’t try to rush a relationship. Don’t come here looking for guys; just be patient and remember school comes first.”
Mary Wise, 94, from Pensacola, Florida, met her late husband, Lon Richard Wise, in September 1938 when both were students at what was then Troy State Teachers College. He died in December 2013 and would have been 100 this year on April 10.
Lon Wise was Troy’s oldest living alumnus. He and his wife have three sons and three daughters.
“My favorite memory of my husband would be when he would get ready to go pick up the kids from the orphanage and bring them to the training school,” Wise said, referring to experiences in Troy while they were students.
“He would come around the building whistling, and I would hear him and open my window and wave at him as he got ready to go get the kids.
“I think I had a good life, never made a lot of money, but my husband did what he loved doing. He was a teacher, and he loved working with schoolchildren. Money does not make you happy if you do not like what you’re doing. I think I’ve been blessed with a good husband.”

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