The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Lead Editorial: We’ve got chemistry

High school relationships are a worthwhile investment
Catherine Tran
Particularly at Jefferson, juggling academics and relationships can be difficult, but worthwhile.

From the May 2023 Issue of tjTODAY

Everyone seems to have an opinion on high school relationships — whether they’re worth the effort, if mask kissing is okay, and how much “rizz” people have. With prom having just occurred, and the Spring Fling just around the corner, it may be time to take a holistic view of the subject as a whole.

To start with perhaps the most contended point about high school relationships, PDA or public displays of affection in school can create an uncomfortable environment for many students and staff. Know when it’s appropriate: couples should be considerate of blocking others’ paths, especially in crowded hallways. 

However, it might be helpful to consider that some couples don’t have cars, live far from each other, or face other circumstances that limit their ability to meet outside of school, so school may be their only one-on-one in-person time. Seeing couples engaging in PDA may grab your attention and cause discomfort for a second, but that second becomes an otherwise irrelevant part of your day. One way to determine to what extent couple’s should be considerate of a potential audience is to think about PDA between platonic friends. If seeing two friends hug doesn’t weird you out, there shouldn’t be a double standard for couples.

Beyond public perception and venturing into the personal aspect of relationships, in general, dating in high school provides valuable learning experiences. You learn more about other people, understand your own needs better, and develop much needed communication skills over the course of your time together. They also prepare you for the dating world in college and beyond. 

Students often raise concerns about limited time and distracting from academic goals. While your grades might be impacted by a relationship, it’s possible to balance the time commitment they bring with school. Regardless, relationships are arguably a worthwhile investment, even if they come at a cost to academic performance. 

Another common excuse is the sentiment that high school relationships aren’t worth it because they’re never meant to last. While it’s true the success rates are low, especially after college, the same can be said of high school friendships: those relationships are still valuable and worth pursuing, even if they fade out with time.

At the same time, it doesn’t make sense to look down on others for not being in relationships. There are many valid reasons to not participate in them, as well as barriers posed by parents and other circumstances. At its core, romantic relationships are one of many ways for high schoolers to grow socially and emotionally.

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