Relationships don’t enhance high school experience

High+school+is+a+time+of+decisions+for+many+teens.

Megan Cox

High school is a time of decisions for many teens.

Yilin Li, Reporter

Here’s a hot take: relationships really don’t enhance the experience of high school, and they are over romanticized. 

Take it from someone who’s been single their entire life, which I begrudgingly admit, the lack of a significant other hasn’t impacted my life in any negative way. Sure, I could be missing out on a fun and exciting part of high school that the majority of my peers experience, but I’m also missing out on being blacked out drunk on a Friday night, which I’m actually quite happy about. 

Besides, high school is to find out what one enjoys to do; their hobbies, their future plans, and how to take care and love themselves. Now, I’m not saying that relationships are unbeneficial and that we should abolish all high school couples. I just think that teenage years are already so complicated, add someone else into the unsolved equation and bam, suddenly mx+b turns into kmx+a bunch of fractions and a confused teen, emotionally and possibly mentally.

“I know a lot of teens will say that they go through relationships to find out what they like and prefer in a guy or girl, but there’s so much time to do that after high school.” PHS sophomore Priyanka Saroya said.

While people can discover their preferences while in a relationship, it isn’t required in order to do so.

  “Figuring out what you want is what is most important, and you can do that without jumping head first into a relationship.” PHS sophomore Mary Grace Nicolas said. “I discover my preferences through other people’s experiences with relationships and what I’ve seen through the people I talk to and hang out with.” 

Naturally, when a person grows older, they start to get an idea of the type of people they want to associate themselves with or avoid at all costs. In high school, people encounter friendships and other students that they unconsciously are averted to, either from other people’s or their own experiences. 

Being involved in a romantic relationship is quite normal behavior for teens and those who don’t date may feel like they’re being left behind in terms of emotional maturity. It’s not surprising that they feel so, seeing that the hallways are always crowded with far too many couples that are holding hands or eating each other’s faces out. 

However, a study from The Journal of School Health concludes that teens who refrain from dating are more socially adept than their peers who do. During a 2013 study, teachers filled out a questionnaire that rated students’ social skills, depression and leadership skills. Those who did not engage in romantic relationships were rated higher in terms of social skills and leadership skills. 

Being in a relationship can lead to emotional and mental development, but at the same time, those who choose not to will flourish just the same. As long as they understand their own self worth and confidence, either option will suffice. 

 “Whether or not someone chooses to date isn’t my problem,” Saroya said. “You just have to know who you are before you look for it in someone else.”