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The student news site of Mill Valley High School

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Mill Valley News

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Staff Editorial: Teenage relationships are a time for students to learn about themselves and what they want from a relationship

High school relationships are opportunities for growth and meaningful connections as students learn how to value themselves and their partners
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By Olivia Peters

High school relationships are “just for fun.” At least, that’s what adults always seem to say. However, in the eyes of many students, teenage dating can be more than just for fun; it can be a time for self discovery and figuring out how to set realistic expectations. 

For most teenagers, the point of dating in high school is not to marry. While there are plenty of stories about high school sweethearts getting married and living happily ever after, the reality is that the majority of high school relationships won’t last even into college. 

In high school, it feels there is a certain unrealistic emphasis on dating. Many people say teens should get out there and try it to see what they like. But on the other hand they say that high school relationships are not that serious and they never really last. This perpetuates a confusing double standard, in which teenagers feel like they have to date but that it can’t get too serious before they graduate.

When people are in a relationship, they are able to grow together and decide what they do and don’t like. However, this means that the opposite is also possible: two people can learn a lot about themselves in a relationship and grow apart. Being in a relationship as a teenager means accepting that this is part of the process.

— JagWire Staff

The reality is that the most important parts of high school are learning and developing friendships. For those who are interested in dating though, the point should be to get a feel and an understanding of what a relationship should look like, which includes having realistic expectations. This means that both people in the relationship need to be aware that there is a good chance that it may not last beyond high school.

That said, it’s not bad to plan for a relationship to last. It’s even necessary at times to make plans for the future in a healthy relationship. However, putting a relationship above everything else and dropping friendships, not focusing on studies and or even letting dating dictate post-high school plans is unhealthy.

Much of what makes high school such a difficult time is discovering one’s identity and what they want out of life. Relationships, both platonic and romantic, are an important way teens can learn about themselves. When people are in a relationship, they are able to grow together and decide what they do and don’t like. However, this means that the opposite is also possible: two people can learn a lot about themselves in a relationship and grow apart. Being in a relationship as a teenager means accepting that this is part of the process.

While teens should use high school relationships to learn about what they want out of future ones, it’s always important to remember that one must first be stable with where they are as a person before beginning to involve someone else. Getting into a relationship before one is ready could be detrimental to mental health and development. Building a good relationship with one’s self should be the basis for building a good relationship with someone else. 

Overall, the most important thing to remember about relationships and high school in general is that it is a time for teens to learn about themselves and what they want out of a relationship.

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About the Contributors
Olivia Peters, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is senior Olivia Peters’ first year on the JagWire staff. She is exploring all roles this year: writing, designing and taking photos. Outside of journalism, she is president of Mill Valley’s SNHS, captain of the Color Guard, vice-president of Youth for Refugees and secretary of the Women’s Empowerment Club. She is also involved in NEHS, Model UN and Scholar’s Bowl. Outside of school, Olivia enjoys reading, working as a gymnastics coach, and playing dungeons and dragons.

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