Putting a Ring on It Students prepare for marriage, lifetime commitment

Jennifer Verzuh

Usually one doesn’t find their lifelong partner in high school, but CMR senior Nicki Mason, 17, has in fellow CMR student Travis Owens, 18.

“This is my first relationship,” Mason said. “I could never imagine me being in a different relationship with someone else. It feels comfortable – we’ve fallen into a routine.”

Today, Mason doesn’t have to imagine dating someone else.

The two seniors, who began dating on March 11 of their freshman year after meeting in science class and Driver’s Ed.

Oddly enough, texting has played a huge part in their relationship.

Senior David Graham had stolen her phone and “texted Travis from my phone so Travis got my number.”

Owens first asked Mason out through a text message. “My answer was ‘sure’,” Mason said.

Despite their young age, both Owens and Mason feel ready and don’t see themselves as rushing into anything and believe they’re ready to take this step.

“I don’t think it’ll necessarily be that different. It’s a piece of paper, a ceremony, a symbolic thing,” Mason said. “It won’t necessarily change things.” Owens agreed, saying, “I don’t feel like it’ll be that different.”

Owens said he’ll still be there for her, help her and push her along. Mason, too, will continue to keep him in line, she said.

Though this scenario may seem straight out of a fairytale, Owens and Mason have had their share of troubles, breaking up twice, but never for more than 10 days.

They’ll both be attending Montana State University-Bozeman this fall, so not only will they be dealing with the financial stress of going off to college but also getting married and supporting each other.

“The first year is going to be the hardest,” Mason said.

 They plan on getting campus jobs and are applying for family housing. Owens will be pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering and Mason will work towards a bachelor’s degree in health. She hopes to be a chiropractor.

Walking down the hallway one can usually spot the couple hand in hand. Owens said he loves that Mason is so calm and collected.

“She keeps me in line, he said. He also said he is happy to have found someone for life.

Mason likes how Owens doesn’t back down to her.

“He stands up against me,” Mason said. “I’m very opinionated, and I like to get my way.”

She also loves his sense of humor and his ability to keep her laughing on a regular basis. “He does the dumbest stuff and makes me laugh.”

The couple still hasn’t officially decided where they’ll be moving after completing school but Mason has already made up her mind.

 “There’s an argument about that, and I’m going to win,” Mason said. “I’m moving to Arlington, WA.”

Mason used to live there and is anxious to return, also wanting her old house back.

“He’s got to be really rich,” she said.

Despite their age, friends and family have been supportive for the most part.

“A lot of them kind of expected it,” Mason said. “I knew eventually it would happen.”