Aliza Bellas, Opinion Editor

With hormones raging and constant interaction with peers, it can be difficult for teens to refrain from engaging in romantic relationships. However, these high school romances often become detrimental to mental health and affect teens more negatively than positively. It is vital to consider these effects before entering a relationship as it is easy to get caught up in high school drama. 

From a medical perspective, teens are often not yet developmentally prepared to be in romantic relationships. 

According to Newport Academy, the part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation and reasoning does not fully mature until your mid-to-late 20s. Undeveloped emotional regulation can lead to intense emotional vulnerability, risky behaviors and dangerous actions when teens enter high school relationships. 

Additionally, engaging in relationships can contribute to mental health challenges for teenagers. Newport Academy adds that oftentimes, teens exhibit symptoms of anxiety, stay up late into the night, experience extreme mood swings and often eat less than normal when they are in this intense state of puppy love. 

“Both involvement in and the dissolution of romantic relationships may increase youths’ vulnerability to depressive symptoms due to the novelty and difficulty of the emotional challenges youth face in managing these relationship events,” the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology wrote. 

It is also important to note that being in such a small school environment can cause issues of intrusiveness on people’s personal business. With such a tight-knit community, it can become easy to invade peers’ privacy, which can hurt their relationship. 

This sense of peer pressure is unhealthy and can affect teens detrimentally. Once we exit the high school “bubble,” I think that circumstances will change and allow for more breathing room in romantic relationships. 

While I understand that some might think that relationships can provide growth in communication skills and overall human development, I would argue that teens instead can learn these skills through other forms of connections with people.  

Family connections and friendships are relationships that allow teens to use the same tools of communication while experiencing love that comes without the pressure of romantic relationships. 

The medical and social struggles that come with high school flings can be very detrimental in students’ lives. Before you decide to enter into a teen romance, I urge you to step back and consider the negative effects that it will have on your life, and truly consider whether or not that kind of relationship is right for you at this time in life.