Since I was young, I have had one thing on my mind: my future. Nothing else has mattered nearly as much. So, as I headed into highschool, I had completely different mindset than the other kids in my grade. While all my friends wanted to do is hook up with boys, I wanted to put all of my attention into building up my resume.
But whether this means volunteer work or having my writing pieces published, I know that developing contacts now will give me great connections and opportunities moving forward. All of these extracurricular activities come from my complete focus to go to my dream university. However, 9 out of 10 times I try to explain this to someone, they immediately tell me to stop overthinking my future. How could I possibly know what I want as only a freshman in highschool?
The thing is, I do.
I am absolutely, positively sure of what I want to do and where I want to go, even if that is the only thing in this world of which I am completely sure. This has, inevitably, made me the odd one out, as none of my friends have even begun to think about what they want to be, let alone how they're going to get there.
My peers have been going to parties on weekends, and most of them have already been in -- or currently are in -- a relationship. One goal I set for myself before going into highschool was to stray away from boys. "It can only get me in trouble," I would tell myself. The only thing boys could possibly do for me at this point in my life is take my mind away from my true dreams and make me forget the goals I have.
Has it been hard not dating in highschool? Surprisingly, the not-dating aspect of it has been the easiest part of all. The challenging part, however, is the peer pressure. Knowing that all of my friends are into dating and hooking up with guys has been difficult, since I simply don’t feel ready for that yet. And to be completely honest, I haven’t even had a crush yet on a single guy in my grade.
Now, that's not to say I don’t find any guys attractive. Like many girls, I’ve stalked many male models on Instagram, and I've tried to discreetly take photos of a cute guy walking down the same street as me. I just haven’t actually been willing to date. Along with being a planner, I am a big list maker. When I make my priorities list of what matters to me most, my future will always come first. This takes absolutely nothing away from my love for my family and my friends, but when I am deciding what I want to spend all of my free time doing, the biggest part of that will be doing things to benefit and enhance my portfolio.
My family and friends are also a huge part of my life, and I spend all of my other free time with them. This means I am constantly balancing my school work, extracurricular work, and time with family and friends; how would I ever balance dating into that is well? I mean, what is the rush?
I have my entire life ahead of me to date and care about boys, and if I do that now, I am only taking away from time I could be spending bettering myself and working hard. I don’t want to say I never have fun, because that isn’t the case, either. I am and have always been an independent person, but I do love going out to lunch with friends on the weekends and going to the beach with my family. By eliminating dating from my life at this time, I am able to make my schedule so that I am fulfilling my needs to do important work both in and out of school, along with scheduling in free time as well.
Worrying about dating is the last thing on my priorities list right now, and frankly, the cons strongly outweigh the pros when it comes to teen relationships. But, I have to wonder why do most teens feel the need to date in high school. While I wish I had the answer, I do believe pressure is a huge part of it. Hearing about your friends dating and hooking up can be intriguing, and, as a result of that, you may feel you need to try it.
I’ve spent a lot of time coming to the realization that this isn’t wrong or bad; it’s just different from my own preferences. Everyone is getting through “teenhood” in their own way, and nobody’s way is the right or wrong one. I am confident with the way I have chosen to spend my time as a teen, and I want to stick to my goals and not let anything get in the way of that. I couldn’t be happier with where I am now, and I plan on continuing on my path towards my dreams, because at this stage, it’s all that matters to me.