Senior Jackie Su is the Co-Editor in Chief of Nordic News. Outside of Nordic, she is also Co-President of DECA and a victim of the IB program. This year,...
Drop the bae and chase that A
Jun 21, 2023
Young love spreads like a virus in high school. Couples can be seen constantly canoodling in the courtyard and even sharing some borderline inappropriate exchanges. Having a partner seems to be the norm and is something that is often sought after by teens. Being in a relationship can expose teens to valuable lessons and great experiences but should be far from their top priority. Teens have their whole lives ahead of them to find their special someone, so they shouldn’t feel pressured to date. Don’t waste time searching for something that probably won’t last.
Teens put themselves at risk for emotional damage when they are in relationships. Psychologically, they are more susceptible to intense emotions, insecurities and uncertainties. Going through a breakup or conflict in a relationship can impact a teen’s studies and ambitions. It’s more important to focus on school than to fuss about crushes and relationships. A relationship can quickly consume a teens’ life and force their schoolwork onto the back burner. Still, it’s understandable that seeing their classmates start to pair up can create a sense of FOMO within teens. But instead of letting that anxiety rule their lives, teens should turn it into motivation to accomplish their goals. They should also remember that teen relationships are not likely to last, and are more likely to be harmful than rewarding.
Most teens haven’t developed the maturity to maintain a healthy romantic relationship. The human brain doesn’t fully develop until the mid-late twenties. This can and often does result in toxic relationships and broken hearts. Most teens are not yet equipped with an understanding of respectful boundaries since adolescence is a time when individuals are still learning about healthy boundaries, self-worth and respect for oneself and others. Engaging in romantic relationships without a solid foundation of self-esteem and a clear understanding of personal boundaries can lead to potential emotional and psychological harm, thereby increasing a teen’s chance of depression and anxiety. Focusing on romantic relationships can take away from teens’ friendships, which can be detrimental to their mental health as well.
It’s hard to juggle friendships, romantic relationships, school and other obligations at the same time. High school offers the opportunity to cultivate strong friendships with a diverse range of individuals. Focusing on developing these friendships will provide a support system and a sense of belonging for teens without the complexities that come with romantic relationships. Being in a romantic relationship could mean less time spent with friends, which could harm a teen’s social life and the opportunity to develop meaningful friendships. The odds that you and your beau will last beyond high school are very low. According to Hive Law, only 2% of high school sweethearts get married, so don’t let the desire for a relationship be a priority. Friendships are much more likely to last and are more likely to aid in teens’ journey in finding themselves.
Teens should use their short-lived time in high school to focus on self-discovery and formulating their aspirations for the future during high school. Dating can limit teens’ flexibility and ability to pursue opportunities that align with their growing interests and ambitions. High school is a critical time for teens to develop these interests and sense of self, so they can better understand themselves and be more independent. Exposure to different people, cultures and perspectives is essential, but that exposure is at risk when teens engage in exclusive relationships. Teens shouldn’t limit themselves by focusing on one person.
A teen’s focus during high school should be to discover their own identity and prepare for their future. While romantic relationships can be a part of that process, they are more likely to hurt one’s well being and friendships. Especially as an adolescent, it may be better for teens to stay guarded and avoid emotional distress. High school is a time for them to figure out who they are and get ready for adulthood. Taking time for self-reflection and understanding one’s own needs and desires can pave the way for healthier and more fulfilling relationships in the future. Teens need to focus on themselves before focusing on finding a relationship.