School relationships: How to handle them

The pressure to date in high school is overwhelming and all-consumin; but so is the caution: "Watch out for the boys!" - a song whose lyrics every girl has lived.

Christine Osae

The pressure to date in high school is overwhelming and all-consuming; but so is the caution: “Watch out for the boys!” — a song whose lyrics every girl has lived. Back in high school, I was always filled with a sort of wonderment and mixed with it, an absurd desire to discover why boy/girl relationships (or coupling as we used to call it) in high school was harshly regarded. If only the reasons had been made as clear as the warning sirens and the heavy punishments that ensued if you were seen with a boy, much more suspected of, or caught in the Mary Magdalene act, a lot of damage would be avoided.

My problem then was not the love affairs because I always felt that feelings were not things one could turn on and off using a switch. On the contrary, I seriously had issues with the ridiculous deterrent measures put in place to control it. Even worse was the bizarre criteria of determining whether you were a reprobate — oh, by that, I mean seen with a boy/girl. If anything, a romantic person would argue that no matter how slim and desperate the chances, high school relationships work. Well truly, it isn’t entirely unimaginable that the person whom you could spend your life with could be sitting next to you as you read this article. Clearly, it would be insensitive and pessimistic to disregard such a compelling argument; but there is an equal measure of negatives that must be stressed.

It is not hard to prove by an assembly of facts that boy/girl relationship in high school is a bad idea. Love is a very intricate issue, much worse when you are still in high school because you aren’t mature emotionally to handle it. The mind of an adolescent is not wholly developed and, therefore, impoverished of judgement about what is or isn’t beneficial in terms of romance. There is a lot of drama involved in adolescence and a relationship takes away from the things that are truly important at such a fruitful age —mainly a steady and focused education.

Besides, there is the possibility of having to suffer a heartbreak at a credibly life altering time. Falling in love and having that unreciprocated could stunt a young man or woman for the rest of their lives, disrupting their ability to trust or feel that way towards anyone in the future. So this guy likes you and he has made no attempt to hide his feelings. If you are to say yes, you should very soon find yourself head over heels — madly infatuated (we know it is never love); unfortunately for him, this is about as far as he can go since there are other mountains to conquer. For reasons quite obvious, the purest yet tainted expressions of love are common place in high schools.

While there are so many distracting things in high school, relationships rate the highest. Your lives revolve around each other and soon, nothing else matters. Truth be told, girls normally find it hard to draw a balance between social and academic life as they usually have a lot to lose.

Conclusively, if we keep holding ourselves aloof from all these, we may be headed for an emotionally broken youth. It is incumbent upon every adult to help guide the young people accordingly. Teachers and parents alike must handle them with patience and wisdom since adolescence is a very sensitive phase of growth. There should really be more than just “no”.

The writer is a lecturer at The Adventist University of Central Africa


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