Your campus, Your story
Story and photos by Aubry Healy, Cassie Wright and Liv Alexander.
The relationships we build and maintain in college are significant aspects of our college experience. Our siblings, best friends and romantic partners are our biggest support systems through the highs and lows of higher education.
Another Valentine’s Day is upon us and this year we caught up with several Central Michigan University couples, friends and siblings to celebrate the relationships that make us who we are.
Ludington sophomore Drew Jones and Alma College student Courtney Edwards met and began their relationship at Ludington High School. They will celebrate their fourth anniversary Feb. 16.
Jones attended community college while Edwards finished her senior year of high school. They moved away from Ludington for college. Edwards is happy to be a short drive away from CMU’s campus. The two are excited to share an apartment together next year.
Edwards said she couldn’t image her life without Jones. “He always knows how to make me laugh,” Edwards said. “He’s been my rock since day one.”
Ludington senior Brennan Ledger and Manistee senior Brianna Walter met at West Shore Community College where they served as student senators in the WSCC student senate. The two formed a close friendship at WSCC before they both transferred to CMU.
Ledger and Walter were shocked to discover they were assigned the same hall with rooms next to each other in Kulhavi Hall in the Tower’s complex.
“Living in Kulhavi brought us many game nights with our friends, so many laughs, many talks, late nights and ultimately we got to know each other more,” Walter said. “We were attached at the hip and as time went on we both entertained the idea of dating.”
Ledger and Walter are finishing up their time at CMU, but sharing every moment they can together. “We’ve always been each other’s biggest cheerleaders, clowns and safe place all in one,” she said. “Now, we’re graduating soon and sharing the excitement supporting each other through this next chapter in life.”
In the end of their first year as CMU students, Ledger and Walter took their friendship to the next level and starting dating.
Rockford seniors Drew Schwandt and Anelene Mellin met in middle school, but didn’t discover their romantic relationship until their church group in high school. They have been together ever since.
Schwandt and Mellin are both family-oriented at heart and welcomed their own daughter, Luciana, into the world in 2018 and are balancing their education and being new parents.
Nashville junior Lyndi Rose and Norway, Mich. freshmen Brett Houle met in CMU’s Student Government Association. At first, their friendship was simply work-related.”It’s funny because we didn’t really like each other all that much,” Houle said. “Once we started to work together more we became literally the best of friends.”
Rose and Houle enjoy working together to improve the experiences of CMU students through SGA. “We just go well together,” Houle said. “It’s one of those friendships you know only started a few months ago but really feels like we have been friends forever.”
St. Clair Shores sophomores Emily and Sarah Seccombe are identical twins. Sarah Seccombe is studying Secondary Education and Emily Seccombe is an Accounting major. The sisters are first-year members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. They also work the front desk of the Fabiano, Emmons and Woldt Lobby.
Sarah Seccombe said the two sisters “share everything” and are always together. “We normally don’t get each other gifts on holidays like Valentine’s Day or Christmas because it would be like getting myself a gift,” she said.
Ann Arbor junior Shelbey Pena and St. Clair Shores junior Jarrret Boldt met their freshman year during CMU’s Leadership Safari. Ever since meeting, the couple said they’ve been smitten with one another. Their favorite date includes going out to eat at either Texas Roadhouse or Olive Garden.
Pena said her best relationship advice is to make sure you’re ready for a relationship. “I feel like something that we’ve both learned is that in order to have a happy, healthy, stable relationship, you need to know yourself really well,” she said. “People always say you have to love yourself first before someone else can love you, and I believe that stands very true.”
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