Kelby Shouse

Sophomores Makayla Clark and Sam Uhrlass hold hands in the hallway before class.

H2H: Are high school relationships worth it?

October 18, 2019

Relationships in high school are full of passion and romance, but along with that comes drama and heartbreak. The question is do the positives outweigh the negatives?

Lessons learned and memories made offset the negatives

People say ‘college is the time to experiment,’ but this journey really begins in high school. Rebecca in second period going through an emo phase and coming out the other side is a similar scenario. High school is a time of self-discovery. It’s a time to play around with how you present yourself, and it’s a time to learn about how relationships work in a safe environment.

Having someone to share your life with is important. Relationships in high school teach you how to interact with another person in a different manner. Seniors Katelin Nierle and Drew Sizemore started dating around three years ago. Their relationship is full of open communication and shared experiences.

“It’s good to have somebody to turn to,” Nierle said. “They’re always going to be there when you have something going on, (and) if you have a good day, they’re always going to be there to make it even better.”

Learning about how a healthy relationship works is a large part of why teenagers date. An 11 month relationship has helped sophomore Avery Miller learn more about herself.

“I have learned that I need to improve my communication skills and personally, I think I have,” Miller said. “I learned that I’m more indecisive than I originally thought I was, and I am more flexible with plans.”

Even unsuccessful relationships are important and necessary for growth and learning. Relationships end for reasons, whether it be miscommunication, a lack of trust, or the two just not being a good match. There is always a takeaway from the situation.

You can really find your best friend in a relationship.”

— Drew Sizemore

“They give you some sort of lesson that you learned from the relationship,” Nierle said.

Dating in high school isn’t about finding your soulmate or falling in love forever. It’s about having fun, learning and growing as a person. Dating in high school can teach you valuable lessons about what toxic and healthy behavior is like, all while being in a safe environment. 

“It helps (for) when you date in the future,” Miller said. “(High school dating is) like practice in a way that’s not as serious.”

There is no pressure to date in high school, but it is a valuable and rewarding experience. Relationships in high school can teach you how to love yourself and others in deeper ways.

“You can really find your best friend in a relationship,” Sizemore said.

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High school relationships: the detraction from self-love

High school is a time where one truly finds themselves and their self-confidence; however, many adolescents feel as though they need reassurance from a significant other. There are generally three reasons why high school relationships are neither “worth it” nor are they even meaningful. First, teenagers need to be focusing on their own mental health. Second, school work ought to take priority over some desired “Instagram-worthy” relationship. Lastly, high school relationships statistically do not work, thus why invest time into something when it has been proven will fail?

High school relationships take a toll on students, and forces individuals to seek acceptance in places other than their own hearts. 

“Before you involve your life with someone else’s, you need to love yourself,” freshman at Appalachian State University Lauraleigh Guthrie said. “I think a lot of girls who are in high school aren’t mentally healthy, and don’t love themselves; they rely on boys to make them feel good about themselves.”

Teens nowadays need to be focusing on their mental health, it is critical especially with the harsh social climate that exists today.

High school relationships are ineffective because most likely both parties aren’t mature enough to handle a relationship.”

— Lauraleigh Guthrie

They should be concentrating on their own growth rather than looking for validation in a significant other, especially if it comes with a lack of attention to school work. 

“Courseloads, extracurriculars, college applications, and jobs are already stressful enough, adding a relationship on top of everything makes (high school) even harder,” Northwest alumni and freshman at UNC Chapel Hill Emma Fagerberg said. 

The distraction from what is truly important — the students’ academic future — is more valuable than their desire for a relationship, especially when it has a high probability of discontinuation.

“Relationships are a strain on school work load and most of your life really,” senior Grayson Kanoy said. “I understand where people come from wanting to be in a relationship, but statistics show only 2% of high school relationships end in marriage, and then 1 in 4 of those end in divorce.” 

Many students end up investing large amounts of time in relationships that simply do not work in the end, and it only puts them further behind in their school work.

“I spent three and a half years of my high school career worried about a relationship with a boy who I knew would never take me seriously instead of looking at the bigger picture; my academic future,” Kanoy said. 

Ultimately, is it truly not “worth it” to be in a high school relationship because of how ineffective they are, how they prove to be a distraction, and just slow down one’s self-love journey. 

“I believe high school relationships are either serious or pointless — I don’t think there’s any in between for that,” senior Johanna Aparicio said.

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