High school relationships have different meanings to students

Dating, going out, going steady – though it comes in a variety of names, the high school relationship still remains a complex, confusing, and often awkward element of high school. Some relationships seem to come and go as quickly as the weather changes, while others last for nearly an entire high school career. Still others straddle that undefined line, unsure of what it takes to turn a friendship into a relationship. However, through all the uncertainty within high school relationships, some patterns still remain clear. Students often noted the fickle nature that many high school relationships seem to hold. “People think a high school relationship is holding hands and wearing the guy’s football jersey,” senior Mandi Fair said. “Most people think that a long relationship would be two months,” freshman Marcus Saddler said. But what lies behind the instability of so many of these relationships? Among many different answers to this question, the root of the problem could often be traced back to one trait: immaturity. “It’s the product of differing levels of maturity among students in our high school,” senior Joe Iverson said. Other students had the same opinion as Iverson. “Many people don’t understand the amount of time and commitment it takes to make it work,” senior Jeffrey Yang said. Perhaps this association of immaturity with failure in romance explains another trend in thinking among high school students: the opinion that freshmen lack what it takes to be part of the dating pool. When asked if high school students in general have the capacity to be in relationships, senior Delaney Kolb responded with, “Maybe,” but quickly went on to add, “But probably not freshmen.” “Some students don’t have the capacity to have a relationship, but freshmen are just [stupid],” junior Heawon Yoon said. “I think freshmen still kind of have the middle-school mentality [when it comes to relationships],” senior Jordan Pool said. “And we all know how middle school relationships go.” Despite the discouraging remarks, there were freshmen who admitted there was truth behind the upperclassmen’s opinions. “I think us freshmen have a hard time sticking to relationships,” freshmen Daniel DeLay said. “One person wants something long-term while the other person’s just in it for fun.” Even with a lack of maturity apparent in some students, many still choose to enter the vast world of relationships. So are all high school relationships doomed to fail? Not quite. Some students have managed to have the appropriate foresight when it comes to interacting with their significant others, and had some advice to offer those people who are navigating their way through the maze that is high school romance. “You shouldn’t be in a relationship unless you think it’s going to last for a reasonable amount of time.” said freshman Amy Schmidt, who has been in a relationship for about a month and half. As for the problem of maturity (or lack thereof), students said the solution is having good judgment. “It’s about not letting the little things get to you and being able to sort things out and knowing when things can or can’t be fixed.” Pool said. High school relationships are as multi-faceted as the people within them. However, the sad truth is that many of these relationships simply do not last, whether it is due to the people in the relationships or the circumstances surrounding them. But while students are grappling with dating, other figures stressed the importance of keeping things in perspective – more specifically, remembering that there is another realm of possibility beyond high school. “Most high school relationships don’t last,” English teacher Del Schmidt said. “After high school, you meet other people, you gain a new set of friends, and you move on.”