Why relationships in high school matter

PV+seniors%2C+friends+for+6+years%2C+Katie%2C+Mariana%2C+Anna%2C+Ella+and+Paulina+join+together+at+a+football+game.

Paulina Garza

PV seniors, friends for 6 years, Katie, Mariana, Anna, Ella and Paulina join together at a football game.

Corea Conner, Photo Manager

Whether it is a quality relationship or a troubled one, the relationships created in high school are important. Throughout the high school years, teens are told their high school relationships will not matter in the future; therefore, there is no reason to put so much heart into them.

It may be true for past generations that connections in high school were not deemed important in the long run. However, the relationships that are created for this generation may be some of the most important because of the increased rates in depression amongst teenagers.

High school relationships are extremely underrated. Already, teens are at a vulnerable age when they take on high school. Society forces them to grow up and choose what they want to do with their lives before their brains are fully developed.

Senior Reese Wendell, like many students at PV, has made relationships with people she hopes to never forget and always keep in touch with. “I think my friends have had an impact on me because they will push me to be a better version of myself,” Wendell stated. “A lot of them have seen me at my worst and have just been there.”

Now with the correlation between social media and teenage anxiety, depression is growing. The friends that are present through these stressful, anxious years are ultimately the environment teens will endure. And because the brain is not developed yet, the environment teens put themselves in can make it easier or harder for them to cope with stress in the long run.

Senior Julia Grace Leach has survived high school while diagnosed with bipolar disorder, OCD, ADHA, depression and anxiety. “I often get down when I scroll through social media like TikTok and see a ton of girls with ‘perfect bodies,’ I beat myself up over the fact that I do not look like other girls.”

Leach believes that PV’s environment is less toxic than other schools in the area. “PV puts up positive posters to tackle mental health issues and bullying, but it doesn’t work for me,” Leach stated. “Over the course of 4 years at PV I have found the right friends for me, that care about me and my well being.”

No matter the type of relationship, all teens are going through similar cognitive thinking processes. Overthinking, social anxiety, FOMO (fear of missing out) and depression are a few of those issues.

Wendell expressed why her friends are important to her. “My friends are always there for me when I am going through a tough time,” she said. “And I know that when I’m struggling in school or in my personal life that I can turn to them and they will help me out.”

What makes high school unique is everyone is thrown into the abyss together and no one really knows what the outcome of our experiences will be. Trying to figure out these tough years can be daunting, but the relationships you make in high school are the ones that ultimately shape who you are for the rest of your life.