Young and in Love: Engaged NU students spotlight

By: Brenden Schwartz, Staff Writer

Love is in the air at Newman University.

A large number of the school’s population is in relationships, and several of those couples are engaged.

So what’s it like to be a college student who’s engaged to be married?

Brittany Wesley is a freshman psychology major on the women’s golf team. She is engaged to Tanner Blaske, who she has been with for three and a half years, Wesley said.

Wesley said she and Blaske met at local golf course Reflection Ridge when she was 15. She was a member there, and he was working as a cart boy. They went to the same school and church, she said, but they never really talked to each other before meeting on the course.

Blaske proposed after taking Wesley to a nice dinner, Wesley said. They were walking by the water at the Waterfront when he got down on one knee and popped the question.

“I love being engaged,” Wesley said. “This time in my life is so special, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. For us there was no point in waiting to graduate from college. We knew what we wanted, and here we are.”

Wesley says being engaged doesn’t affect her college experience that much and that she’s still able to follow a normal routine. She says her friends are excited for her and that she and Blaske are happy to be following God’s plan.

Wesley said they do have a date picked out but aren’t ready to share it yet.

Mac Foley is a senior pre-med triathlete engaged to dance instructor Katherine Wurzer, who is getting majors in business and minors in social work at Wichita State University.

Foley had advice for people looking to form serious relationships in college.

“It’s weird being young and engaged because most of my peers aren’t in relationships or are in really new relationships,” Foley said. “Many people our age are developing themselves currently and trying to find who they are. I think that lots of people come to us for relationship advice or advice on life in other ways, which I think is hilarious quite frankly because we might know where we stand as a couple but we are still college students just trying to find the right path.”

Foley says it’s hard for a lot of his peers to understand his situation because they’re still living a single life.

“I think our peers view us differently because they don’t really understand some of the choices that we make, like opting to not go to a social event because of the commitments that we have to each other,” Foley said. “Maybe it’s an activity that our friends love to do that we may not have time to do. Our lives are so integrated that it’s hard at times to make time for others.”

College is a busy stressful time, Foley said, and can complicate relationships.

“It’s been hard to nurture our relationship at times with college. Being a triathlete and involved heavily with SGA and taking lots of science classes is so draining, and it’s really hard honestly,” Foley said. “I would say that it has allowed me to practice having a busy and stressful life and still tending to those valuable relationships. I wouldn’t say I have mastered it yet, though.”

Foley and Wurzer have been together for eight years, and they plan to make that bond official on July 23, 2022.

“There are sacrifices that you make to be in a committed relationship. There are things that you miss out on. But I wouldn’t trade those things for the experiences that I have shared with my love,” Foley said.

The Vantage Managing Editor Madeline Alvarez is a senior this year and engaged to Cole Schnieders who graduated from Newman last year. Their wedding is planned for this coming December.

The Vantage Sports Editor Tyler Push is engaged to Reagen Roth. Push and Roth are graduate students at Newman University who started dating their freshman year.

“One day I saw her walking to the cafeteria, and I was like, ‘That’s the one. That’s the woman I want to be with,’” Push said.

Push said that when they graduated, his grandparents took them on a trip to Hawaii and that on their last day there, he surprised Roth with a horseback ride along the beach. They stopped to take pictures, and he got down on one knee and proposed, he said.

Push said that he and Roth both recently graduated and are about to start their lives together while taking graduate classes, so they’re a bit nervous but ready for what’s to come.

Push and Roth have been together for four years and plan to get married Sept. 17, 2022.

Alondra Torres-Hernandez is double majoring in criminal justice and psychology and is on the cheer team. She is engaged to Jonny Hermosillo-Barrios, who studied at WSU Tech.

Torres said that she and Barrios met at a Bishop Carroll football game in high school.

“There was a green, fuzzy hat being passed around the student section, and it came to me. I wasn’t sure what to do with it and that’s when Jonny and I made eye contact,” she said. “He motioned for me to put it on one of our classmate’s heads, and then we laughed at his reaction. In the following weeks, we started seeing more of each other in the school hallways.”

They were on a hike and made it up to some caves on a camping trip with some of their friends at Kanopolis Lake, Torres said, and as she was getting ready for another picture, Barrios got down on his knee and popped the question.

Torres said she doesn’t feel like being engaged has affected her college experience in any negative way. She and Barrios are both still able to be involved in school organizations and groups.

Their wedding is set to be sometime in the summer of 2022, after Torres graduates.

“It’s very exciting knowing you get to build your future alongside someone else,” Torres said.

Allison Williams is a senior and a criminal justice/psychology double major with a minor in theatre, and she has been with her high school sweetheart turned fiancé, Jacob Tollefson, for eight years.

Tollefson proposed to Williams when they were moving into their new apartment in the summer of 2020, Williams said.

“Being young and engaged isn’t really that different from being young and being in a long-term relationship,” she said. “We’re still us and still doing everything we used to, except now we’re planning a wedding.”

Williams said she made it a rule not to let their relationship affect her college experience.

“I would say it has mostly just made me more aware of the future and what I want out of life while I’m in college,” Williams said. “I don’t suggest planning a wedding during your busiest year of college, though.”

Some people have been skeptical of their plans, she said.

“It hasn’t so much been our peers as it has been adults telling us to be wary of young love,” Williams said. “But we’ve gone through so much together throughout the years, I don’t really feel like it’s just ‘young love’ anymore.”

Williams and Tollefson are getting married on July 2, 2022.

PHOTO: Tyler Push, Sports Editor