For many students, high school is a time for either gaining an education or seeking out romantic relationships. However, the two goals do not have to be mutually exclusive and can rather coordinate well to create a rewarding high school experience.
Some students go through high school believing that a relationship is necessary to be happy. This preoccupation with a significant other can get in the way of school work and negatively affect a student’s grades.
Loss of sleep, daydreaming, and recklessness are just a few of the potential negative side effects of a romantic relationship. As such, high school, for some students, becomes a matchmaking service that distracts them from their studies.
“Honestly, my first couple of relationships in high school were a mess,” said Anny Huynh, a junior at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, California. “I would stay up late calling my partner, and that would make me perform worse in school. It’s really all about finding the balance.”
Other students tend to adhere to the opposite end of the spectrum and entirely condemn romance in high school. For these students, education is the only service that high school has to offer. However, this absolute mentality can prevent students from developing important communication skills that only close relationships can foster – communication skills necessary for achieving happiness and success in college and beyond.
“I regret not pursuing a relationship in high school. Yes, it did help me to focus on my academics more, but that was really only in the beginning. Once I got to college, relationships totally threw me off because I had no previous experience with them. It became difficult to handle a relationship while also maintaining my workload in college,” shared Sarah Kim, a sophomore at UCLA.
The real key to successful high school relationships is balance. While high school should primarily be for education, romantic relationships can serve as essential foundation for responsibility and communication skills. Learning to effectively balance high school relationships with academics can also foster strength in time management and prioritization.
“I think high school relationships should, at most, be something that you have with another individual who you care about that motivates you and supports you in school, not something that distracts you from doing your best,” said Ian Solano, a junior at Granada Hills Charter High School in Granada Hills, California.
Despite the risks that are commonly associated with romance in high school, there is no need for a stigma against relationships in school. Relationships do not have to be a terrible distraction; with balance and responsibility, they can even motivate teens to pursue their studies and aspirations.