High school relationships often a learning experience

Bailey Kirkeby, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As Valentine’s Day approaches, a wave of loneliness strikes many single high school students.  Although healthy high school dating may benefit students, poor time management and unrealistic expectations may harm students in relationships.

According to “Huff Post,” while only 2% of high school relationships end in marriage, healthy dating can still be beneficial.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that healthy teenage dating can help students learn about other people, grow emotionally and develop social skills that will aid them in school, with employers, and with partners during adulthood.

Senior Kaitlyn Phovixay says that the emotional support she gets from her boyfriend is one of the benefits of being in a relationship.

“I always find comfort and happiness when I’m with [my boyfriend],” Phovixay said.  “He knows how to keep me calm when I’m stressed and will always boost my mood when I’m having a bad day.”

But high school relationships may also lead to undesirable consequences due to potential interference with academic work and unrealistic expectations about relationships.

“At the end of my last relationship, it affected my academic performance since it was annoying to have to deal with a nagging partner and all the other things I do and it was mentally taxing,” senior Trey Humphreys said.

Many teens have dense schedules and must make time for homework and studying, extracurricular activities and hanging out with friends.  When in a relationship, teens may decrease the time spent on academics to spend more time with their partner, potentially hurting their grades if their time is not managed properly.

“It doesn’t affect my grades because even though we spend time together, we are still able to work together and help each other out since most of our classes are the same,” Phovixay said.

In addition to harming academic performance, high school relationships may pose risks to students’ mental health.  Teens often have idealistic expectations about relationships, such as how relationships are supposed to progress. A 2014 study by the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that the more often that the reality of their relationships did not match their expectations, the more often girls experienced poor mental health, including severe depression and suicide attempts.

“I think most people just want a relationship because they’re horny or they feel like they need one because of social pressure,” Humphreys said.  “My last relationship wasn’t spicy because women expect commitment that shouldn’t be given during high school because people could be doing, say, literally anything else.”

However, leaving behind expectations about relationships can aid students in creating a healthier relationship.

“I’ve learned how to be more affectionate towards others and was more confident once I knew that I was able to keep a healthy relationship since… I didn’t really know what to expect,” sophomore Michael Huaman said.

With proper time management and the right person, high school relationships can teach teenagers valuable lessons that can be beneficial for their futures.