High school sweethearts testify that love can last
For pre-pharmacy junior Luke Mann, it was love at first sight when he spotted liberal studies junior Laurie Riggs in his eighth grade chemistry class.
“Our teacher was passing back tests one day and he mentioned Laurie’s name. I just looked straight across the room and saw her, and I thought, ‘She’s it,'” Mann said.
Mann and Riggs are still going strong after six and a half years. Kim Kardashian may have divorced her husband after 72 days, but Mann and Riggs prove that high school romances aren’t dead.
Yanhel Ponce, a management information systems junior, and Sergio Corona, a mechanical engineering senior, are also high school sweethearts and have been in an on-and-off relationship since 2010. Ponce said they had typical high school break-ups, but experiencing college together has solidified their relationship.
“Being at UH has definitely brought us closer together, because we keep having a lot of different new experiences together,” Ponce said. “For example, we recently both turned 21, and we’ve been having fun experiencing bars together and with friends. I just feel like we have been growing up together since (we were) teenagers, and I love the fact that we both are experiencing a lot of new things together.”
Ponce and Corona said the key to a successful relationship is communication, and Mann and Riggs said they agreed.
“I think too often you find that couples don’t communicate with one another anymore, and to me that’s a really important thing to have in a relationship to keep it going,” Mann said.
“It also helps that we can still laugh at one another and the stupid things that we sometimes do. We don’t take things too seriously.”
According to a 2012 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who marry in their early 20’s — the average age being 26 — have a 69 percent chance of staying married for 10 years.
A 2011 eHarmony survey said that nearly 40 percent of people meet their significant others at work or school, regardless of age.
Mechanical engineering sophomore Karina Padilla and computer engineering junior Sergio Silva have been together for four years. Silva said as a young college student in a long-term relationship, he and Padilla are used to defending the significance of their relationship.
“We get a ton of comments saying we shouldn’t rush into things, that we’re too young, and that the marriage will fail,” Silva said.
“We try not to listen to negative comments. Our relationship is unique to us, and can only be defined by what we have made it to be.”
Padilla and Silva are set to graduate together in Spring 2017. Silvia said once they earn their degrees, it’s “straight to the altar.”
“I can honestly say that I can’t wait for the future; a future with Karina, our house and our kids,” Silva said.
Just like Ponce and Corona, Silva credits his time at UH with his success at keeping a high school love story alive.
“Being at UH has given us so many opportunities to be together and explore new things,” Silva said.
“Whether it’s going to games, campus events, joining organizations, or even grabbing lunch together, we’re together, and that’s all that matters.”