Academy’s Opinions on Dating in High School

September 17, 2018


Photo Credit: Adrianna Radice/Achona Online

According to the Child Trends Data Bank, the amount of teenagers who date more than once a week increases significantly with age, from 5% among eighth-grade students, to 9% of tenth-grade students, and 16% of students in the twelfth grade.

In the United States, dating amongst high school students has taken prevalence since the 1920’s. However, the way in which teenagers pursue their dating habits has changed significantly. For instance, teenagers engaging in dating in the 1950’s were expected to follow a strict set of “courtship” rules, ranging from “never drop your silverware on a first date” to “ask your date out by Wednesday”, a concept which may seem especially foreign amidst the casual dating climate we experience today.  Amongst Academy girls, the topic of relationships is one which consists of many varied opinions due to the simultaneous pressure and anticipation that accompanies it.

“I don’t think that dating in general is where the pressure is, but I think that there is a lot of pressure surrounding getting a date to Homecoming or the Freshmen Dance, because if all your friends get dates and you don’t then you’re that one person who stands out. I think it causes a lot of unneeded sadness, especially when you’re a freshman because you didn’t live up to the standard. I think that at Academy especially there’s definitely a lot of pressure because it is an all girls school and that means there’s a lot of competition,” says Alexandra Fanaro (‘22).

For many students at the Academy, juggling relationships can be a strenuous endeavor. With Academy’s myriad of academic responsibilities, along with extracurricular activities and home life expectations, finding the time to make a relationship work can prove difficult during such a vital and formidable time in a teenager’s life. The question concerning this struggle is how those participating in these types of relationships manage to maintain them and, more importantly, why they choose to undergo the task at all?

“I’ve been in a relationship for about two years. I definitely think it can be difficult, because obviously we go to an all girls school that he doesn’t attend, so we’re constantly on different schedules, and there are a lot of times that they don’t really line up. I think for Academy specifically, one of the drawbacks is that we don’t get to be together as much as we would had we gone to the same school. In addition to that, he goes to school with girls so there’s an intimidation factor. But on the other side of, I think it has its benefits because if he went here then we would probably be distracted by each other, so this means I can focus better on my work,” says Riley Kayton (‘19).


Photo Credit: Riley Kayton (used with permission)
“The way we met is kind of funny. I saw him at a regatta and he had absolutely no idea who I was. After that, I made sure to go out of my way to introduce myself, and we’ve been together ever since,” says Kayton.

According to a recent study enacted by the Pew Research Center concerning the “Basics of Teen Romantic Relationships”, only 14% of teens claim to be in what they consider to be a “serious” relationship.

“My boyfriend, Joseph, and I have been dating for almost two years now, and I personally think it makes life easier, as strange as it sounds. He actually helps me and tutors me when I need help with certain subjects like math. I think that the level of stress associated with the relationship all depends on the people and the circumstances involved. With Joseph and I, it’s kind of a stress reliever because he’s just somebody I call pretty much every night, and I can laugh with him at the end of a hectic day, and it just helps me relax,” says Tori Hifko (‘20).

Though many students find the process of dating rewarding enough to outweigh the complications, there remains a significant number who find that their experiences are quite the opposite. Despite the seemingly overwhelming pressure to find the perfect date to homecoming, many girls find the prospect of pursuing a relationship in high school excessive and unwarranted.  

“I don’t think dating in high school is necessary. Honestly, you don’t know yourself well enough yet to fully love and appreciate another person. Because of this, the resulting relationships you have in high school end up being juvenile and immature. I think you should spend your time figuring out who you are and focusing on the education your parents have paid for you to obtain,” said Audrey Gabbard (‘19).

The amount of 12th graders that choose not to engage in dating and relationships has more than doubled over the past 23 years, jumping from 14% in 1991 to 38% in 2013.

“For high school, I know that relationships aren’t necessarily a distraction for some people, but for me personally, I think it could get in the way of how I study or my work ethic. Not to say I look down on those who do choose to date, I just don’t find it beneficial in my personal life. And honestly, I don’t think high school relationships end up lasting in the long run,” said Chanita Belcher (‘19).

Photo Credit: Adrianna Radice/Achona Online
Reportedly, Singer Beyonce knew her top charting single “Single Ladies” was going to be a hit for single women everywhere immediately after filming the iconic music video.

The topic of dating amongst high school students may be a polarizing subject in some cases, eliciting passionate opinions from either sides of the argument. However, there are still many girls who feel that how teenagers approach relationships all depends on the individuals involved and where they are in their own personal paths of life.

“I just think it depends on the person. There shouldn’t be a rule on whether or not high schoolers should or shouldn’t date. If someone feels they really like a person and decide they want to date them then just let them. If it doesn’t end up working out then that’s just it not working out, it’s not a reflection on the entire teenage population,” says Maria Hurtado (‘19).

Junior English teacher Dr. Lauren Oetinger supplies her opinion on the matter as an adult surrounded by the modern teenage dating phenomenon.



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