Opinion: Relationship or hookup, the choice is yours


High school relationships and hookups happen each year on campus. High school is a place full of love, lust and heartbreak. Graphic by: Kendall Garcia

Kendall Garcia

Relationships and hookups in high school are short-lived but full of life lessons to students, such as honesty and boundary setting

The year is 2022, and once again, high school relationships have taken a toll on us all. High school, for many, can be a time to fall in love, get your heart broken, get over it and then do it all over again. Relationships in high school are normally short-lived, and that’s okay. We are mostly all just here for the fun of seeing that person’s name pop up on our Snapchat notifications and then seeing who can leave the other on delivered longer. But hookup culture has become a whole new factor. And in my opinion, it has upped the drama to a whole new level.

High school is filled with relationship drama. Relationships are bound to be a factor with over a thousand teens going to the same school five days a week. However, hookup culture has pushed both long and short-term relationships right off the table.

Hookup culture has teenagers nowadays rarely interested in long-term or even short-term relationships. Many would rather just roll through all four years of high school with the occasional or common sexual encounter. Hookup culture holds all the sexual intimacy of a relationship without the emotional connection to accompany it. For teens, this can be stellar. No emotional connection means no heartbreak, and no heartbreak means no having to get over it, which seems to be the hardest part of every relationship, learning to let go.

Celesste Zarate ‘23 said, “[I had a hookup] junior year. I didn’t know them for a long time before. I wasn’t emotionally attached to them.”

Hookup culture has a sense of empowerment. We’re all young in high school, so why shouldn’t we be able to do whatever we want? The only problem with hookup culture is that often people just go along with these casual hookups. Not because it’s what they want to do but because it feels like their only option. This often leads to people feeling less free and, instead, allows individuals to let things slide even if they wish the situation had gone differently.

Serenity Locke ‘23 said, “Personally, [hookup culture] doesn’t really work for me because I get too attached, but I think live your life and have fun [while] being safe.”

Locke (right) said, “I’m in a relationship [and I’ve been in it for] almost two years. We knew each other for about five months before we started dating.” Photo by: Serenity Locke
The pressure that surrounds hookup culture can be deteriorating for some and thrilling for others. Personally, I’d say hearing about who the random girl or guy in my math class hooked up with last week is entertaining for me but the drama of it all never really seems worth it.

Relationships in 2022 kind of seem dead to high school students, especially with hookups commonly seeming like the only or better option. Of course, it’s understandable, it would be naive not to admit that there is only a small amount of high school relationships that actually make it out of high school and then lead to marriage later on. However, I don’t think that high school students are in any way dating to marry. Relationships in high school should be more about learning lessons to use later in life, like problem-solving skills and when to draw the line. Sure maybe you’ll find the one in high school, but the odds are definitely not in your favor. 

I think we should all just be having fun and learning lessons. Hookup culture can be toxic when it isn’t what both parties want. But it can also be positive with students not having to endure the stress of a real relationship. Honesty and boundary setting are important to both relationships and hookups. The world is definitely full of lust, and the people are here for it. Just be sure to know when to draw the line.