We continue our We Met at John’s series with Emma and Jacob Tustin-Reeves, who attended John’s from 2014 to 2017 and were married earlier this year!
The vast majority of us, at some point in our time at Durham, have likely heard a crazy (and somewhat disconcerting) statistic — roughly 70% of Durham graduates marry fellow alumni of the university.
Myth or not, it’s a figure most of us students are aware of. Emma Tustin certainly knew of it when she arrived in Durham for Freshers’ Week 2014. Granted, she didn’t think it could be true, let alone happen to her. That is, until she met one Jacob Reeves.
The two met on a college-organized Great Gatsby-themed boat evening, one of many Freshers’ Week events that allowed newly-matriculated Johnians to meet one another before the start of term. Emma was studying music, Jacob criminology.
They became friends in the weeks that followed, but it wasn’t until February (near Emma’s birthday) that they realized they had a lot in common. The two spent a lot of time together, watching TV and playing games in the Bowes Room, going for walks along the river. They started dating in March, and went on to live together in second and third year (along with three of their friends).
According to Emma, she certainly wouldn’t have met Jacob if not for John’s (a recurring theme among the couples in this series). They lived quite close to each other in Linton, went to meals and formals with their mutual group of friends, and particularly enjoyed events like Bailey Ball and a Holi Festival organized by John’s.
For those who want to be a part of the (alleged) 70%, the two recommend just being open and willing to put yourself out there.
“Don’t underestimate the power of the people you meet at John’s and university in general.”Emma Tustin-Reeves
To make the most of university, they encourage others to take full advantage of what Durham has to offer. Between “the small city and being so close to each other” and taking day trips out to Newcastle and Scotland (for ideas, see this blog post), there are lots of opportunities to strengthen relationships with others in Durham.
It can be more difficult post-university, when you need to start thinking about careers and potentially being in different cities, but the two have made it work.
Emma and Jacob have lived with each other ever since graduating from Durham in 2017. They started in Ely, where Jacob joined the Cambridgeshire Police Force and Emma completed her postgrad in education at the University of Cambridge.
After moving house five times in five years, they’ve finally settled in East Northamptonshire (where they bought their first house together). Jacob is now a detective, and Emma is Head of Sixth Form and part of the leadership team at Northampton Academy.
After seven years together, Emma and Jacob tied the knot in a beautiful April ceremony earlier this year, and they’re now known as Mr. and Mrs. Tustin-Reeves!