Last week, Jay Shen, class of 2015, proposed to Chavonn Williams, also class of 2015. The reporter interviewed them in Lower Sayles on Monday. Jay and Chavonn met yards away from our interview location; they even knew at which table they were introduced as freshmen.
“I just turned twenty-two and I’m officially off the market,” said Chavonn Williams, never dropping her grin. Chavonn will be graduating in the winter, but they are planning to leave the wedding for after Jay’s graduation next spring.
"It will be in June,” said Jay.
“Or May,” joked Chavonn. “He left all the wedding planning up to me.”
Asked about the engagement, Jay teased Chavonn about being eager for marriage. “She’s an impatient person. She kept singing ‘Single Ladies’ to me,” he said, shaking his hand like Beyoncé.
While considering the future of their relationship, Jay had a map in his head. “I thought it was going the right way, continuing in the way I’m seeing it.” He drew an invisible time line on the table as we talked. He decided a few months back to propose around the time of Chavonn’s birthday last week.
Asked about reactions to their announcement, Chavonn described how they have been showered by compliments- even the Sayles ladies ask if they can hug her.
“She got more of that than I did,” said Jay.
“It’s because I’m cuter,” replied Chavonn.
While news of engaged Carleton students is rare, Jay and Chavonn know other couples who have been dating for a long time and anticipate being married soon. “They’re just at a different place in their lives. But it’s nice to have that kind of security,” Chavonn said. “To know that I can stop looking.”
“Two people who have personality differences tend to recognize that differences exist,” said Jay, assuming a mode of philosophical passion. “But love has the power to make a person change to another kind of person. Love and affection are more ethereal- a relationship needs needs serious cultivation, a constant process that needs to be developed. You have to think on a pragmatic level.”
When we were looking for somewhere to take photos for the article, Chavonn pointed out the Thankfulness tree set up outside of Sayles. The couple searched for the waterproof note cards they hung up, and then posed for a picture. “I’m thankful for Jay,” she said, pecking him on the cheek.