8 things being single in high school taught me
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As senior year almost comes to end, these last weeks will sure be bittersweet. As I look through photos on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and my phone I realize despite my many friends, I had never thought about committing to a romantic relationship.
With movies such as Pretty in Pink and 16 Candles and other high school romantic comedies, there’s been a social stigma attached to being single throughout high school. Society’s expectation is that you experience your first serious relationship or your first time falling in love in high school. People ask you “don’t you want to have a nice boyfriend or girlfriend?”, “all I want you is to be happy”, “why aren’t you in a relationship?”.
I am not trying to bash relationships. Relationships are wonderful. In fact, some of my friends are in relationships and that is great, I am happy for them and always will be. But being in a relationship during high school is not for everyone. With busy schedules, some students just do not have time for a relationship.
Throughout the past four years, I have grown immensely as a person. Here are the eight things that being single in high school taught me.
- A very different high school experience
I did not have a 1980s romcom high school experience. Trust me it’s not like that, you can ask anyone. My high school experience was different. If you look through my Facebook and Instagram, it is filled with crazy adventures and fun filled memories with my friends and family. Instead of date night, my family and I would sometimes go see a show at Fair Park and have a nice dinner in bustling downtown. We would have family friends over who I have known my entire life and now am seeing their kids grow up right before my eyes. I would talk and get to know my neighbors. My friends and I would go to football games. We would go to the Madrigals Feast and Vivace! shows to support our friends. Being single in high school is something I’ll truly cherish as I head off to college and the rest of my life.
- Staying bold and true to yourself
In high school, there is a lot going on. You are figuring yourself out and what you want in life. I know it is hard to see couples holding hands at almost every corner. It makes you wonder what it would be like to be in a relationship. Focus on yourself first, try something new and set goals for yourself, big and small.
- You can learn from couples
Even though I have not committed to one, I have learned a lot about relationships in high school. From other couples you gain a sense of wisdom when it comes to being in a relationship. Couples told me that choosing to be in a relationship comes with a lot of responsibility. You truly have to trust one and another, you all have to get to each know each other as you continue to date. One of the most important factors when it comes to being in a relationship is you have to balance everything else – friends, family and school.
- More opportunities await
High school gave me the opportunity to branch out. I was involved in several clubs and still am to this day. I was a part of the Coppell High School choir program. I took French my sophomore and junior year and loved every minute of it. By the time senior year came around I decided to join Sidekick because I wanted to get back into writing. It has been an amazing experience getting to know a diverse group of students with different perspectives.
- More independence aka “me time”
I am known as this little social butterfly that is always full of energy, but every once in awhile I do need time to myself. During some weekends, I like to recharge, reflect. I like to go on long walks and enjoy nature and there are some nights where I like to curl up in bed watch Netflix and eat junk food all night. #Relatable, right?
- Strong, mentally and emotionally
One of the main reasons I opted out of having a relationship during high school is because I felt was not ready for one. I did not want to depend on someone. I want to feel strong and independent before I get myself into a relationship. Ever since I was a little girl, I always had trouble showing emotions and how I felt about certain things. Instead of crying and letting go of that anger or sadness, I would hide in the bathroom and cry in there or isolate myself from people I care about and that care about me. This year I am really glad I have been able to open up my emotions to people and it took a long time for me to realize that it is OK to be sad every once in awhile.
Since the height of my freshmen year I had a growing interest about the world on a local and global level. I would find myself spending hours on WatchCut, AJ+, BBC, NowThis, etc. Since, I’ve been more exposed to social issues and realized how privileged I am living in close-knit Coppell. It was then discovered I wanted to work and be apart of the international community and someday work in the United Nations to give thanks for all that I have been provided. As of right now and the past couple months, I have decided to double major in International and Religious Studies when I head off to college in the fall.
- You know more about self-love
During my high school career, I have met several girls who have trouble loving themselves. I will find them looking through magazines of models who they compare themselves to. They will ask themselves “why can’t I look that?”, “wow look at her, she’s goals!”. I too had insecurities about my curly hair, as I had been told I was not pretty enough with it. It took me the majority of my childhood and my teens to embrace my that about myself and it was not till my sophomore year, two short years ago, that I started to feel beautiful with curly hair. High school gave me the opportunity to self improve myself, not being in a relationship gave me the chance to improve myself and embrace my features and insecurities that I’ve had for so long. What I’ve realized that several high school teens rush into relationships way too fast not noticing that sometimes they are unable to love themselves. It is a key component to love yourself before getting into a relationship.