Garrison and I met at the Cole County Fair in the Summer of 2014, I was 17 and Garrison was 16.

We both had zero intentions of even liking each other since we were both talking to somebody else at the time. A couple of months went by and I get a message on Twitter from him. One thing led to another and we went out on our first date. Trust me when I say I was definitely not expecting to fall in love with somebody during my senior year of high school, let alone the person who I'd one day marry.

Most people will always just talk about the negatives of marrying your high school sweetheart.

"You're too young to be in such a committed relationship." "You're going to college, don't you want to play the field?" "How can you be sure he's the one you want to be with if you haven't explored?" Although I understand these points, risking my relationship with Garrison and what we had, was not something I wanted to do just to explore or "play the field."

None of that stuff was worth it.

Sure Garrison and I have had our ups and most definitely our downs, but all of the positives outweigh the negatives. Here are some of the upsides to getting engaged to your high school sweetheart:

1. We've gotten to see each other and our relationship grow.

Over the past five years, we've gotten to be by each other's sides and watch as we grow. It hasn't been easy, but those challenges only made us stronger and more willing to fight for each other. I am confident that the day we say "I do," we will have a solid foundation built to start our new chapter.

2. We have years of shared memories.

We are able to look back and laugh at all of the awkward moments we've had together and all of the inside jokes we have made along the way. We can reminisce about a shared connection that other people do not understand.

3. We have more photographs than you could count.

When Garrison and I started dating, he HATED pictures. I constantly made him take pictures and he cooperated, which I'm so glad because now we have an abundance of images of us from when we were teenagers to now. Awkward pictures for our future home and everything in between.

4. Our families love each other.

Another amazing thing about being together at a young age and for so long, is we have each other's families. My family loves him as if he were their son, and his family loves me as if I were their daughter. Having a long history together is such a positive and special thing. You get to grow with their family just as much as growing with them.

Marrying your high school sweetheart is such a special thing that not a lot of people can find.

You have a foundation built and you're just going to create more memories along the way. Creating more laughs, more smiles, more stories. It's something special. Not everybody is as lucky, but if you are, hold on to that.

Marry the person you can't stand to make memories without.

In my experience, this love is one of a kind and not something I would ever give up on. Looking back at everything, it happened just as God intended it to. I am forever grateful to have found somebody I can connect with and love so much at a young age.

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