My Lower year was defined by broken relationships. I spent most of my year trying to jump into a relationship, only to find that the boy I liked did not like me back. I was infatuated; I made myself believe that one day we would be together. As a result, my grades went down and my friends started calling me crazy, telling me that I was acting obsessive. Afterwards, when the dust had settled, I was left with bad grades and broken friendships. This harsh reality made me realize that relationships are not worth obsessing over, especially when you have so much to lose, such as good grades and friends. Who has time for a relationship between schoolwork, extracurricular activities and sports? At a certain point, we have to put ourselves first—we cannot share ourselves with others. Otherwise, we lose focus and become vulnerable to a whole smorgasbord of negative emotions that threatens our very existence. I was seemingly bipolar, laughing one moment, crying the next. Was I the person I wanted to be? No. Relationships are like video games; they are addictive, they waste time and they suck the life out of you. As teenagers, we are still developing. We feel so certain that we want something, only to find afterwards that it was not worth the trouble. As a result of this foolishness, we learn to not make decisions based off of our emotions, such as jumping into a relationship. Our popular culture revolves around relationships—who’s dating who? Is Lindsay Lohan actually straight? Is Miley Cyrus actually dating a 20-year old? These questions are obviously dull, and yet they influence us. Pop culture tells us that relationships matter, and to be a dateless “loser” is the worst thing. Yet being a “loser” is what we need to be in order to become successful. Which actions are going to get us farther in life? Excelling in school, or obsessing over someone, giving them every bit of energy? I would take the former. Yet eight months ago, I would have taken the latter. People must never let themselves become consumed by something as trivial as love, and I was consumed. Love is blind. When a person is consumed by love, everything around them becomes dim and their priorities become skewed. The person they love looks perfect; they can do no wrong. I was caught in this cycle of being hurt when the person I loved did not love me back. I am not saying that one should never love. I am simply informing those people who are holding onto the thought of a possible relationship that they are wasting their time. If the relationship isn’t a reality then there is no point in even thinking about it; it isn’t even real. The only way to have a relationship during high school is to not become emotionally attached. For example, going to a dance in The Den, grinding with someone, hooking up afterwards and forgetting about the whole ordeal the next morning is a much healthier alternative to the obsessive-compulsive behavior that comes with attachment. If only people could see that this attachment causes so many of the world’s problems. So many songs, movies, poems and stories are about love. This energy is wasted on something so elusive and unreal. So many people become delusional about their own lives. We let ourselves think, “Maybe he loves me. I can see it in his eyes.” But what can we do to solve this relationship problem? Don’t fall into a relationship, don’t make yourself vulnerable. Because once you make yourself vulnerable, you lay at the mercy of the person you love. Never let someone else determine your happiness or self-worth. Ben Talarico is a two-year Lower from Suquamish, Washington. email@example.com
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