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The Student News Site of Joshua High School

The Owl Flight

The Student News Site of Joshua High School

The Owl Flight

The Student News Site of Joshua High School

The Owl Flight

Navigating The Maze: Dating in High School

junior Kiley Jones with boyfriend Fischer Thomas.

In high school, dating can be both thrilling and daunting. As adolescents navigate the complexities of relationships, they encounter a myriad of emotions, expectations and challenges. From navigating peer pressure to discovering personal boundaries, the journey of dating in high school is a pivotal experience that shapes individuals’ understanding of themselves and others.

“I met [my boyfriend] through my grandpa. They met at the gym and my boyfriend came to watch me perform at a restaurant. When he saw me, he immediately fell in love,” junior Kiley Jones said. “He asked my grandpa for my number the next day. We formally met when we went to Six Flags together.”

Junior Kiley Jones with her boyfriend, junior Fischer Thomas.

High school couples typically meet through shared classes, where they bond over mutual interests and academic pursuits. They might also connect through extracurricular activities like sports teams or clubs, finding common ground in their passions outside the classroom. 

Additionally, the rise of social media and other online platforms offers another avenue for connection, allowing students to foster relationships beyond school grounds.

“We have trouble finding time to hang out because we’re both pretty busy with school and extracurriculars,” sophomore Trevor Seigler said. “Balancing all the things: schoolwork, hanging out with your partner, extracurriculars, hanging out with friends, finding time for it all is difficult.”

High school students, like anyone else, can experience challenges in their past relationships that may impact their current ones. These challenges might include issues such as trust, communication or, compatibility. For instance, if a student has been hurt or betrayed in a previous relationship, they may struggle to trust their current partner fully.

“I have had awful past experiences; mental abuse was a common theme. I was always left feeling like I was never enough; no matter what I did for them, they were still angry with me. I was cheated on, backstabbed, thrown under the bus and completely disregarded by people who I thought were my lovers,” Jones said. “I often found myself in a lot of situations where promises were broken. It has completely ruined my perception of the dating scene.”

Similarly, if they’ve had difficulty expressing their feelings or needs in the past, they might carry those communication barriers into their present relationship. These experiences can create emotional baggage that weighs on the dynamics of new relationships, making it important for high school students to reflect on their past experiences and actively work towards healthier patterns in their current relationships.

junior Mary Stiles with her boyfriend Sam Knight.

“I’ve found the motivation to get back into the gym; I’m feeling better throughout the day and they’ve really opened up to me. They started off feeling kind of standoffish, but now I feel like we’re connected,” Seigler said. “We usually try to spend quality time together doing stuff, cooking, playing video games or just cuddling.”

One common challenge is peer pressure, as students may feel compelled to conform to social norms or expectations regarding relationships. Additionally, communication can be a struggle, as teenagers may lack the skills to express their feelings and concerns to their partners effectively. Furthermore, balancing academics and extracurricular activities with dating can be difficult, leading to conflicts over time management and priorities.

“My partner has changed his appearance a lot. I have helped him come out of his shell and dress the way he wants to dress,” Jones said. “He doesn’t feel like people will judge him anymore because of my encouragement.”

Dating in high school can be a transformative experience as students navigate relationships while undergoing significant personal growth. Throughout these formative years, individuals often find themselves changing and evolving within the confines of a relationship. They may discover new interests, develop stronger communication skills or gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their boundaries.

“She has taught me things about myself I’d never thought I would know. She’s my partner and also my best friend. I love sharing everything with her,” junior Fischer Thomas said. “Since I’ve known her, she’s become a completely new person. As for me, I have changed in some extraordinary ways; I think so much differently.”

Senior Jasmine Panbamrung with her girlfriend, junior Laura Hapke.

As teenagers explore the intricacies of love and companionship, they are also confronted with challenges that prompt self-reflection and adaptation. This period of flux allows high school students to learn about empathy, compromise, and the importance of mutual respect in a romantic partnership, all while shaping their identities and preparing for future connections.

“Every challenge we face, we solve together,” Thomas said. “We hide nothing at all, everything that is done is shared between each other.”

Student relationships can be a wonderful experience, going through High School with someone you can grow and learn by creating memories and changing together as a couple.

“He is so patient with me and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. When I’m not in the mood to talk just yet, he will sit with me in silence and let me form my own words,” Jones said. “Our communication is the best communication I have ever had with a person. Our personalities never clash.”

Navigating the complexities of high school dating can be both exhilarating and challenging for students. From navigating social dynamics to managing academic responsibilities, high school relationships offer opportunities for personal growth and exploration. However, students need to prioritize their emotional well-being and academic goals while engaging in romantic relationships. 

“Make sure you are communicating with your partner because that is the key to a long-lasting relationship. Admit if you did something wrong and work on it, don’t make someone else responsible for your mistakes,” junior Laura Hapke said. “Trust each other and learn. The best thing about relationships is to learn new things together.”

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About the Contributor
McKenzie Davis, Reporter
McKenzie Davis-Patton is a new student at Joshua High School. She is an eccentric, fast-paced person that always loves to learn new things. Her distinct passion for reading, Indie music, and true crime builds her identity. She has a deep admiration for architecture and art. She is also in the Audio/Video Productions club and would like to major in communications.
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    Nickolas SmithFeb 23, 2024 at 1:19 PM

    What a fantastic story! I love the impact and approach you took while writing it.