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The Reality of Teenage Romance | Anonymous

It’s relatively fair to say that everyone has some sort of high school romance dream. Growing up watching “High School Musical”, Gen-Z kids have a vision of the perfect high school love story plastered onto their brains. There are expectations of tripping in the halls and someone stopping to help you pick up your papers, talking to them at lunch, going out on a date with them at some random pizza shop, and getting asked out to prom. Despite how utterly cheesy and cliché the plot of every single one of these teenage romance films are, somehow they remain as the number one goal for many teens in high school today. Teens would obviously much rather talk about their crushes, love life, and drama than their teachers, homework, and math tests, excluding some of the CCA overachievers of course. But much like capitalism and the “American dream”, not everyone has an equal opportunity to the “teenage dream”.

Much like everyone else, gay teens grew up watching Disney Channel, thus getting expectations of falling in love in highschool. But when the time comes for the post-puberty teens of highschool to frolic around and choose a boyfriend or girlfriend, gay teens are stuck in the situation of having no choices at all. The main reason for this is because there are simply less gay people than straight people. Furthermore, those who are gay are often still closeted for a variety of reasons in their teenage years. These two combined factors obviously make it really hard for LGBTQIA+ youth to have a “fulfilling” childhood that lives up to the expectations set by pop culture.

It’s a well known fact that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are more likely to suffer from depression and other mental disorders. In fact, a Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) study showed that around 29% of LGB youth admitted to attempting suicide within a year of the study, and that’s not even considering transgender individuals who often suffer even higher rates. These mental disorders are often a result of a variety of things, such as an unaccepting environment. Coming short of expectations of a normal high school life is another potential factor. Ever wanted to be prom king or queen? Yeah, well you can throw that down the drain. Ever wanted someone to make one of those tacky homecoming signs and ask you out with it? Give up, you won’t get it. Oh? You wanted to go on an aesthetic drive-in a movie date? Silly you. You don't get that.

LGBTQIA+ youth are not the only ones suffering from feeling left out of the teenage dream. There’s a seemingly endless list of people who have trouble living up to the self-imposed expectations of the romantic high school experience. People with neurodiversities or people who simply don't conform to the beauty standard of highschoolers can all experience trouble finding people who appreciate and love them in their high school careers.

But this is less of a matter with people than it is with the media we consume. Getting into commitments like relationships at such a young age is a pretty irregular expectation to have. This also explains why high school relationships almost never last long. So, to the people who feel left out of dream romance, you're not missing out on anything too special. It’s best to wait until college when there's more people and more matured minds.

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