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Date nights and deadlines: married students balance unique roles

Portrait of Kyle and Bri Sizemore for Married BJU students article. photo by Bobby Hull

While most BJU students experience waking up in res hall bunks and sharing their morning routines with roommates and hallmates, some students share their mornings with only one.

There are 44 married undergraduate students at BJU. These students get up in the morning, eat breakfast, say goodbye to their spouse and then head to classes.

Jason Houtz, a senior Bible major, is one out of the 44 married undergrads. Houtz married his wife Liana in 2013. He’s a full-time student while his wife Liana works as a nanny for the Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery.

In the mornings, they have a relaxing breakfast together before he heads to BJU for classes. After classes, it’s homework until 9 p.m., then spending time with Liana until bedtime.

“It’s probably about the same as if I were working a full time job,” Houtz said.

Isabelle Gordon is another married undergrad at BJU. She is a senior accounting major with a music minor. She married her husband, Jackson, in December of 2015 and they both work at Cold Stone Creamery.

Jackson works in the morning while Gordon herself is at the University, and then she comes in to work just after Jackson finishes his shift.

Gordon said she and Jackson see each other for lunch most days, but other days, finding time together is difficult.

“It’s definitely not easy,” Gordon said. “But we were long distance for about a year and a half [while] he was in California, so it’s definitely easier than that.”

Kyle Sizemore is a senior communication major at BJU. Sizemore married his wife Bri in the summer of 2015. Sizemore works as a server at Carrabba’s Italian Grill and as a banquet serverLarkins on the River, and Bri works at Tupelo Honey Café and as an event coordinator for the Greenville Peace Center.

Despite the workload, the Sizemores make an effort to find time for each other. On days when Bri works for the Peace Center, they see each other in the evenings after work and classes are over. On days when they both go to work, they have lunch with each other, go to work at the same time and come home at the same time.

Though balancing married life and student life has its challenges, the couples find a way to make it work. They know they followed God’s plan for this time in their lives.

“It actually balances out really well.” Bri said.