The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


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BVNW Speaks

Getting real about relationships

Teenagers in high school experience romance in distinct ways, and there is a psychological reason why.
Prajwal Adhikari

Most teenagers in high school have had unique experiences with romantic relationships. Whether one has been directly affected by being in a relationship themself or wishing they were in one, there is no doubt that nearly all teens have had a taste.

Some teenagers experience romantic relationships firsthand, like sophomores Isabel Levine and Ben Keenan, who have been dating since their 8th-grade year in middle school.

“I knew he liked me, but when I asked him about it, he got bright red and he was really nervous. So I just kind of [asked him],” Levine said.

For some, dating during high school works out, like Levine and Keenan, but according to junior Eugenie Kim, waiting until college is the move for her.

“I think with dating, it should be a relationship where I can rely on that other person for support when you’re having a hard time,” Kim said. “But when we’re teenagers, I think our lives are pretty unstable, our moods change really fast [and], a lot of our circumstances change really fast as well. And so it’s always smart to date when I’m stable and the other person is stable so that we can keep our relationship as long as possible.” 

According to Kim, growing up in a Korean-American household influenced her decision to wait until she is older and more mature to date.

“A lot of parents who are Korean-American want their kids to focus on their education, primarily in high school,” Kim said. “So we kind of tried to abstain from dating life and abstain from getting into drama that would distract me from my education.”

Levine’s mother, Megan Levine, said she was not surprised when her daughter decided to date.

“Kids are maturing faster. You know, as long as they’re taking care of themselves, and have been raised to have a strong sense of self as much as they can, or they’re not doing anything that they feel wrong or uncomfortable about, [it’s ok].”

— Megan Levine

“Kids are maturing faster. You know, as long as they’re taking care of themselves, and have been raised to have a strong sense of self as much as they can, or they’re not doing anything that they feel wrong or uncomfortable about, [it’s ok],” Megan said. 

Since middle school, Isabel and Keenan have continued to date into high school. The pair said that as they got older, increasingly hectic schedules made it more difficult to maintain their relationship. 

“It’s gotten harder. I think in eighth grade, we didn’t have that much to do. We were still in middle school, but as we’ve gotten jobs… more extracurriculars and stuff like that. It’s made us both busier. So it’s hard to find time to see each other,” Levine said.

Another issue that high school romances face is the gray area that is platonic friendships with opposite genders.

“I think being friends with the opposite gender [harms relationships],” Levine said. ”I have no problem being friends [with boys] or having him be friends with girls, but I think that it destroys a lot of relationships just because of the lack of trust.”

To combat these challenges of schedules and jealousy that affect teen relationships, Keenan said the most important factor is communication.

“I feel like as long as you know and you trust the person, then you can be as young as you want, but just like, [you] need to have communication… If you want this to last or be a long [relationship],” Keenan said.

Levine agrees with Keenan that conveying feelings is very important, and she also states the importance of hard work for relationships. 

“At this age, it’s definitely difficult. And a lot of people I’ve noticed don’t want to put in the work for it or they’ll give up a lot easier. So it’s definitely not the easiest thing to do,” Levine said.

Kim added that she thinks people want to date in high school for the experience of a relationship and also the newfound independence that comes with getting older.

“I feel like when we’re in elementary or middle school, we’re like, ‘Oh, I like that person,’ but never really go as far as ‘let’s date’. But I think in high school, we kind of get that independence to actually tell that person,” Kim said. 

According to school counselor Lauren Crouch, the reason many teens are fixated on relationships points back to their need to feel wanted. The stigma surrounding dating at our age can place more emphasis on getting into a relationship, regardless of the risks. Especially in high school, activities like school dances play a role in further isolating students without dates or relationships. The pressure of finding a date can influence a student’s well-being. 

“It really does play a factor in our mental health,” said Crouch. “It’s that feeling of being wanted, being needed, being loved.”

Certain students fall short of being able to see whether they are placing themselves in relationships for themselves or someone else. 

Crouch said that the Health and Wellness classes had started incorporating topics on toxic relationships versus healthy relationships into lessons. 

“I personally feel like that’s something that every kid could use,” said Crouch. 

When students go on to have relationships after high school, they utilize their previous experiences to make decisions on their own. If they are instructed on basic parameters to keep in order to attain a balanced relationship, they leave high school with more real-world applicable knowledge. 

Contrary to building a relationship on feelings of loneliness or despair, a healthy relationship is constructed on mutual agreement. According to Crouch, a high school relationship should bud from friendship and be built from strong personal connections. 

“Build that friendship that grows into something more at the end,” Crouch said. “You define who you are with the things you do in your life, not who you’re dating, or if you’re dating anybody,”

Finding romantic success in high school can be illustrated in a multitude of ways. Whether that be finding someone prior, searching as you go, or waiting until the time is right, it is essential to do it for the right reasons.

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About the Contributors
Madison Kraft
Madison Kraft, Writer
Madison is a first-year writer for “The Express” and a sophomore. Along with being a proud member of the paper, Madison is involved in cross country, varsity track and field, KAY Club, Rise, and Team Up for St. Jude’s. In her valued free time, Madison enjoys watching movies, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends. She is so happy to be part of “The Express” family and is excited to meet new people and develop her journalistic writing skills.
Sanaee Joshi
Sanaee Joshi, Writer
Sanaee Joshi is a sophomore and contributes as a writer to “The Express” on her first year on staff. She sings in the Blue Valley Northwest choir in Vox Animae. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends, cooking, singing, reading, and drawing. Sanaee can’t wait to be a part of “The Express” team.
Prajwal Adhikari
Prajwal Adhikari, Sports Design Editor
Prajwal is a senior and Sports Design Editor for “The Express.” This is his second year on staff. Outside of newspaper, Prajwal is a clarinet section leader of the Howlin’ Husky Marching Band and plans to participate in various clubs throughout the year. Prajwal enjoys hanging out with friends, rooting for the Packers, and watching movies with family. He is excited to express his creativity as a designer and editor!

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