To love or not to love

Good relationships are beneficial to teen experiences

By Anushruti Nagarajan and Keshav Kumar

Take any teenage movie: “Twilight,” “Five Feet Apart,” “The Edge of Seventeen.” They all have one thing in common– love. Romantic relationships are every high schooler’s dream, according to the media. But are they really beneficial for students or just another useless distraction? Well, they can be both — which is why it is essential that high school students are careful when it comes to love. High school relationships are an important part of a teenager’s development and can be beneficial to students in many ways. However, they can also become a distraction, which is why it is essential that high school students navigate relationships with caution. 

Teenagers are forced to navigate a multitude of challenges. Pressure to succeed academically, social tension with peers and possible issues at home make high school an especially challenging time. Romantic relationships are appealing because they can provide a refuge from these stresses and are something to look forward to. Personally speaking, having someone in my life that I could freely talk to and share a special connection would definitely ease my mind. 

Healthy adolescent relationships can improve a student’s self esteem and provide them with emotional support from a partner when they need it, according to the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, the experience from these relationships can lead to higher quality romantic relationships in adulthood. These experiences help students become better communicators in future relationships and figure out their identity and personal values. 

All relationships, platonic or romantic, are learning experiences. Valuable knowledge can be obtained through mistakes, controlling emotions and maintaining strong bonds with others. Given this, relationships involve commitment, good communication and maturity

Healthy relationships involve honesty, understanding and compromise from both people, according to the New York State official website. However, not every high school relationship maintains those high standards. Bad relationships can be just as harmful as good ones are rewarding. Because of a lack of development at a young age, teens can have difficulties resolving conflicts with their partners, according to UCLA’s Mental Health Project.  With these issues even more prevalent amongst adolescent girls, relationships can lead to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety as well as worse performance in school, according to the National Institutes of Health. Although this can be dangerous for teens, the benefits of a relationship definitely outweigh the cons since it is unlikely for teenagers to get wrapped into toxic relationships, according to the National Institutes of Health.  

Relationships are built on trust, responsibility and respect: traits which are crucial for a healthy adult life. Having open discussions and being able to compromise in high school partnerships is important as our sense of individuality is still developing. 

Ultimately, teens shouldn’t force themselves into a bad relationship because of the mob mentality and groupthink. Nevertheless, having a significant other to help navigate through the high school journey can be nice to have as well. As long as we stay vigilant and rational, there is no harm in pursuing the teenage dream.