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Senior spouses

Kate and Avery Boxell find wedded bliss prior to graduation

Kate and Avery Boxell met in Ireland during their freshman honors J-term trip. (Photo by Hannah Bolds)

Kate and Avery Boxell met in Ireland during their freshman honors J-term trip. (Photo by Hannah Bolds)

By Brianna Kudisch | Echo 

First impressions aren’t always accurate; in fact, senior Kate Boxell (formerly Meadors) had a less than favorable impression of her now-husband, senior Avery Boxell.

“I thought Avery was a tool because he was attractive and quiet in class, which to me, meant he was stuck-up,” Kate said, laughing.

The couple first met officially in Ireland, over 3,000 miles away from campus while on their freshman honors J-term trip to Ireland. They didn’t talk much at first, but both felt a spark of interest in the other.

After coming back from the trip, Avery asked Kate on a pick-a-date and eventually started dating. The pick-a-date involved watching “The Lego Movie” and eating at Steak n’ Shake.

“A classic guy PA planned (the) pick-a-date,” Kate said. “(But) what was awesome was that Avery’s roommate and best friend, (senior) Dietrich Swinney, had asked my best friend, (senior) Krissy White, on the same pick-a-date, not even knowing that we were best friends!”

They dated for almost two years and were engaged for “nine long months,” according to Avery, until their wedding on June 18, this past summer.

Jumping into married life as college seniors presented both rewards and challenges for the couple. Both Kate and Avery agreed the stability and deepening friendship of marriage were significant benefits.

“You’re always coming home to a consistent situation and person,” Kate said. “(And) you’ll always start and end the day with your best friend,” Avery added.

Living in an apartment attached to Kate’s family’s home in Upland, the Boxells mentioned that although they may miss out on spontaneous wing events or group activities, the adventures they share as a couple more than make up for it.

Despite the advantages, being married as students presents several challenges. To minimize conflict, the couple emphasized the importance of extending grace and love to the other person and maintaining an intentional lifestyle through communication and planning.

“(You have to realize the) routines you have need to be more malleable or moldable in order to live well with someone else and not just assume your way is always the best way,” Kate said.

“You think about the other person a lot more,” Avery explained. “You’ve grown up for 21 years not doing that . . . (Marriage) makes you be a lot more thoughtful. It’s clear when you’re not being thoughtful.”

Marriage can also bring out a person’s more fun and less well-known side, like Avery’s “super goofy side no one knows about,” according to Kate, and the fact that he likes to eat peanut butter at 9:30 at night.

On the other hand, Kate uses an expressive voice—similar to different characters—much more frequently than Avery would’ve imagined.

“I’ve probably laughed more in the time we’ve been married than I have in the same amount of time otherwise,” Avery said. “After being married for three months, it’s already hard to picture not being married.”

Keeping God at the center of their marriage is a constant theme; Kate expressed the importance of accountability, first to the Lord, which then transfers into her shared life with Avery, loving him well.

Avery noted it’s helpful to remember marriage is a covenant, disclosing that that mindset prompts him to act differently— to act more selflessly.

“It’s always a good reminder that our marriage is a display of the gospel. Our hope is (that) the way we love one another in our marriage will be very counter-cultural,” Kate said.

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