The Devines: A love story that started in a land not so far away

Mariam Hanna, Editor-in-Chief

In seventh grade, Jack Devine moved to Rochester Hills and began attending West Middle School. He took the bus to and from school and tried to use the time to nap, but he was often awakened by his classmate, Ms. Bre Rosol, who liked to talk to her friends and everyone around her. Little did they know that in just over a decade, they would be engaged and planning a summer wedding. 

Ms. Rosol and Devine both went on to attend Rochester High school. They shared a strong bond and remained friends through the thicks and thins of adolescence.

I think there was always a little bit of feelings there from both sides, but we were in the same friend group, and I had dated some of her friends, she had dated some of my friends, so nothing really had ever materialized,” Devine explained. “Once we got out of high school, we just decided to try it I guess and then here we are.”

They decided to move their relationship further right after graduating high school, but they soon faced an obstacle. Ms. Rosol would attend Michigan State University in the fall, but Devine would not. To avoid the hardships of a long-distance relationship, they decided to break up.

“When he didn’t get into Michigan State, we were like ‘maybe this isn’t good, maybe we should try something else’, and then we were like ‘no’,” Ms. Rosol said. “Neither of us actually wanted that, we just thought that was the right thing to do because we weren’t in school together. And then after that we’ve been together ever since.”

Many will say that communication is vital in a healthy and stable relationship, especially in a long-distance one, and Ms. Rosol can definitely attest to that. She also emphasized that learning how to be alone and happy is significant when significant others are often apart.

“I think obviously you mature a lot during college, so when we started our relationship going into college, we both were pretty immature,” she said. “We wanted to have fun, and we didn’t really understand the boundaries of being in a relationship. So I think a big thing on that was learning how to communicate, especially being long distance. We both learned what we need to feel secure even though we weren’t together all the time whereas in high school you see them every single day for like eight hours a day.”

Many couples meet one another and dive right into a romantic partnership, but Devine is grateful for his initial friendship with Ms. Rosol because it built the foundation for their current-day relationship.

“Honestly, [my favorite memory] was when we first started dating and she was at Michigan State, I would just go visit and we would just hang out in her dorm, just us two,” he said. “We would watch TV, talk, maybe go get some food somewhere, and it was just a good combination of being friends- being more than just boyfriend and girlfriend. It was a very comforting, very fun time together.”

Graduation is one of Ms. Rosol’s favorite memories with Devine to reminisce on, not only because it was a fun night and an exciting start to the future, but also because of a comical moment the two shared.

“I remember him saying when I graduated, when they call off your name as you walk across the stage, he was like ‘oh, I never knew that your middle name was Elizabeth’,” Ms. Rosol said. “I was like all this time, and it’s stuck in my head because you think you know someone so well when you’re friends with them, I mean we’ve known each other so long and we literally spent six years together in school and hung out together all the time outside of school, so I just thought that was funny.”

Devine proposed to Ms. Rosol at her family’s annual Fourth of July party at their lakehouse Up North. He was originally going to pop the question on a cruise over spring break of last year, but the pandemic had other plans.

“We had a singer come in for the party, so the singer was there and we were all sitting around watching him perform,” Ms. Rosol said. “Then he came on the microphone and was like ‘is Jack out there? I wanted Jack to come up here. He has something to say.’ So Jack came down from our house, and he was all dressed up, and I was so embarrassed because I thought he was gonna do karaoke. I was like ‘not in front of all these people’ and his sisters are sitting next to me- and they were recording but I didn’t know- and I was like ‘he’s got to go, we’ve got to tell him- this cannot happen, we need to cancel him, like shut him up, take the microphone’. And then he called me up and I was like ‘oh’, and I realized what was happening.”

Devine chose the party as the perfect setting to propose because he knew that Ms. Rosol, being a family-oriented person, would like her family there. He also joked that doing it in front of so many people would ensure some free photos and videos.

“I didn’t want to have to get a photographer for [the proposal], so I figured the best way to do it was to do it in front of sixty people. They would all just take pictures, and I wouldn’t have to pay for someone else to do that. So really, it was just a cost-saving measure.”

The wedding is set to take place in six short months. Last summer, Ms. Rosol and Devine tried to take care of all the big things like reserving a venue and finding a florist. Their next big thing is cake tasting, which is arguably the most important part.

“I did all the big stuff in the summer because I knew right now my life would be stressful enough,” Ms. Rosol said. “I didn’t know what was gonna happen with teaching, so I was like I need to be able to just focus on back and forth from online to in person… So now it’s just waiting. I keep on forgetting that it’s this summer. I keep thinking it’s next summer, and then I’m like ‘oh my gosh, six months until we’re married!’. I’m sure eventually it will all sneak up on me, and we’ll have a million things to do.”

Growing up and maturing, people learn from the individuals around them. Ms. Rosol and Devine both developed as their own selves but also as a couple. Then learned from each other and matured as reflections of one another.

“I’ve definitely grown. I’ve changed. I’m a lot different,” Devine said. “A lot of me is still the same personality-wise, professionally there have definitely been a lot of developments that have been made just because of Bre. In high school, I wasn’t a good student, I didn’t get ito any colleges out of high school, and I ended up graduating from grand Valley with a bachelors degree, and now I’m going to Oakland to get my masters. I would say thats pretty much attributable to Bre.” 

Ms. Rosol has always been organized, goal-oriented, and focused. Devine has helped her embrace the randomness of the world and enjoy life even without structure at times.

“I’m really big on school and setting gaols for yourself and planning, and Jack is more like ‘oh we’ll just see what happens’ and didn’t take school seriously,” Ms. Rosol explained. “I’m more of like where do you see yourself in two years and this is what I want out of our life, and so I helped him with the planning and school, and he helped me relax a little because I’m really, really, really over the top organized. Sometimes it’s just like let’s see what happens, lets plan a random trip… But I just think being in the right relationship- the other person will teach you things about yourself that maybe you didn’t know.”

Contrary to popular belief, high school and college are not all about finding the perfect person for you. When most people look back, they would say that these parts of one’s life are about finding out who they are and simply experiencing life.

“It’s really hard when you’re in high school because you think you’re so mature and you’ve got everything figured out, but there’s so much more to life,” Ms. Rosol said. “If you’re not able to still experience life in a relationship, then it’s not the right thing. It might work out later, so just let things happen. It’s very hard, but let things happen and just kinda see where life takes you.”

 Seeing where life takes you is an idea that Ms. Rosol emphasized. Sometimes, things do not work out the ideal way, and humans have to learn to make lemonade with the oranges life hands you. 

“You shouldn’t try to force something to work out just because you wanna be high school sweethearts or whatever it is,” she cautioned. “Just kinda feel out whatever it happening, and if things do not go the way you want them to go, just live with the learning moment of that. What we always said was that if it’s meant to be, it’ll work out. If we did have a fight or something, if it was meant for us to be together, we would find our way back to each other. I think thats a big thing.”

Similarly, Devine views high school as a time to learn more about one’s self. It’s not about finding the right person as much as it is about finding out what you do not want in a person or out of a relationship. 

“Figure out what you cannot put up with or accept in another person, whether it’s something with their attitude or how they treat you or anything like that,” he said. “Figure out what doesn’t work for you. Then, by the time you’re out of high school, you know if you see those signs early that you know you cannot put up with or can’t have in a  relationship. You’re gonna be able to see a lot earlier whether or not a relationship is gonna have potential to be long term and serious”

At the end of the day, the same rules that apply to simply being a decent person apply to having a successful relationship that the two people can grow and learn in and enjoy.

“Just be serious, be smart, be loyal,” Devine said. “Just be honest with people, and don’t be scummy. Know what you’re looking for, and just be respecting.”