“I found out who he was when I was in eighth grade. And all the girls were obsessed with him. So I was like, ‘Okay, I'm gonna be obsessed him too.’ And so then we actually somehow started talking and I was like, ‘Oh this is never gonna work.’ He was that popular boy in school who played basketball and was in the choir and stuff.”
Jennalyn and Noah Long, sophomore and senior respectively, have been together since she was a freshman in high school.
“And then it got more serious, I guess,” Jennalyn said. “We always did this thing. You know, how it was like 11:11 ‘Make a wish’ kind of thing. Very, very immature but we'd always do it and it kind of became our thing. So we started talking like July 2013, and then on November 11, 2013 he was like we’ll get out of class early, like at 11:08. I was like, ‘Okay,’ so I go out of class and went to the bathroom. We walked around school and at 11:11 he pulls out his phone and was like ‘It's 11:11 on 11/11. Will you be my girlfriend?’ So that's how we started dating.”
Four years later the couple got engaged, the summer before Jennalyn started at DePauw.
“For me it's just like we talked about if for a year, or so, before that so we were just like ‘Why wait?’ I think we pretty much knew at that point in our relationship just after dating for so long, having known each others families and everything. Moving forward we were going to be at the same place so we might as well.” Noah said.
While the two were happy together, it affected how other students reacted to Jennalyn as “the first-year who is engaged.”
“How did people respond to it? Yeah, so our family and everybody from home that knew our relationship was very supportive. They were like, ‘Oh, yeah, like this was gonna happen no matter what.’ And so when I come to college, like this first-year, who's engaged and everyone's just kind of was like, ‘What are you doing?’ So I mean, I kind of had like, some days and times where it was like, really difficult. People didn't understand and I would always be like I was that girl who's engaged. No one really knew my name. They didn't get to know me at first, it was just ‘she’s engaged, stay away.’”
Now Noah, approaching graduation, is looking for at law schools in the area as their relationship continues to strengthen.
“I plan on going to law school and I’m pretty much looking at going to IU McKinney which is in Indianapolis. So we’re gonna look at getting a place at somewhere between Indianapolis and Depauw. We’ll both commute but we’ll actually be living together so it will actually be really nice.” Noah said.