Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

I used to feel weird about never having had a boyfriend in high school. Movies, TV, and books made me feel like it was weird. I though there was something wrong with me. Was I not pretty enough, funny enough, smart enough? It turns out there really isn’t anything universally bad going on. There is, however, something inherently wrong with the forms of entertainment that focus on high schools. Whoever is writing these plot lines and relationships apparently have never visited a high school. Every single person in the school does not constantly date everyone else. In fact, dating rarely takes place at all. A majority of the people I know have never had a boyfriend or a girlfriend. When I realized this, that my beloved books and movies had been lying to me, I felt both cheated and relieved. The people I know are great. There is nothing about them that makes them undeniably unappealing. It’s just the way high school is. A lot of people don’t date. If you have never had a significant other, don’t worry.

Contrary to what Disney Channel would have you to believe, there is nothing wrong with you. You are not a freak and most importantly, you are not alone.

Washington High School Senior Jenna Wu think that media is totally misguided. “It’s amusing that media always portrays high school as a dating mecca because that is so not the case,” she explains. Look around you. Do you see boys leaning against the wall, flirting with girls? Probably not. Are all of your friends in relationships? Probably not. Do you think there is anything wrong with them? Probably not. High school is a weird time. Hormones are raging, but most people don’t know what to do with them. On TV and in movies, the characters with picture perfect relationships have adults writing every word for them. They never get tongue tied because they never have to worry about what to say next. It’s scripted. Life is not scripted.

You have probably heard all of this before. Duh, your life is not a MTV show. But really think about it this time. If you ever feel like you are not enough of anything for someone to like you, stop. It’s not true. Think about what you are comparing yourself to. Twilight?  A Sarah Dessen book? Those are classified as fiction for a reason. It’s not what high school is.

Please don’t feel like there is something wrong with you. Being a teenager is hard enough as it is without constantly asking yourself why no one likes you. Plenty of people like you. Your friends, your family, your dog. Random people at school probably like you too, they just don’t know how to deal with it. And isn’t that enough? Realize that if you truly were the least desirable person in the entire galaxy, even your dog probably wouldn’t like you. It is normal to not date, and it’s normal to date. It happens for everyone at different times, at the right time. Appreciate that the universe has a plan for you. Things will come together for you.

Don’t let yourself wallow. If you are watching a movie like 10 Things I Hate About You and get this horrible feeling in your chest that no one will ever want you, just stop. Turn the movie off. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Julia Styles will wait. Go outside. Check your email. Watch The Golden Girls. Don’t let yourself feel that way. The fact of the matter is that media lies to you. Basically about everything, but especially about high school. As you probably know, paper extensions do not exist,  you don’t take twelve electives, and you don’t go to class AFTER the bell rings. You accept all of these things as blatant lies. So why is it so hard to believe that it lies about relationships to?

Your classmates are not judging you because you never dated anyone. Teenagers are self absorbed. They don’t have the time to worry about your romantic life when they just failed their midterm or got broken up with themselves. The only person who cares about your personal life is you (and probably your friends, but they hopefully aren’t judging you). Get out of your own head. The fact of the matter simple is that a lot of people don’t date in high school. You are not a special case. You are absolutely and utterly not alone.

Wasting your high school years worrying about never being “Facebook official” is the absolute worst possible way to spend four years. Things will happen for you when the time is right. Pour all the love you have in heart into your friends and family and pets and school work. Be passionate. And above all, please, please, please, love yourself.

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the author

Kathleen is a Northern California native and incoming freshman at Washington & Lee University. She spends much of her free time obsessing over the future (not in a crystal ball way) and making plans to visit as many countries as humanly possible throughout her four years of college. She loves her dog Morton, Grey's Anatomy, and money. One day she hopes to become the perfect mix of Cristina Yang, Mindy Kaling, April Kepner, and Amy Poehler. Until then you can find her crying over how exciting life is and retaking the Myer's Briggs Test to make sure she really is ENTJ.

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