High school crushes: Catching the ‘lovebug’

Crushes can impact school days, relationships


Illustration by Lee Judilla

A new crush disrupts an otherwise ordinary school day. What used to be a normal conversation turns cheeks pink, makes you nervous and leaves you hanging on to every word.

Having a crush is a normal part of most high schoolers’ lives, although it is almost never completely smooth sailing. The blending of the good and bad experiences of having a crush tends to work itself out in the end.

Teenage years are often accompanied by the newfound freedom to date and the opportunity to pursue a real romantic relationship.

“Back in elementary school, you were always scared to talk to them, but now in high school, you always want to be able to talk with them and to be around them,” Katie Benito (10) said.

The development of a new crush can impact a regular school day. The most prevalent thing in your mind becomes a new infatuation that shifts all other priorities.

“There are so many distractions. Your [crush] is always on your mind,” Santiago Conde (11) said.

As a crush on someone begins to grow, the desire to have someone else notice what you do and how you do it influences both actions and thoughts.

“You always want to impress the person,” Benito said. “You want to make sure you look nice every day.”

When a new crush is brought into the picture, there always seems to be 100 extra things to worry about. The way you look, act and talk all feel like they are under constant scrutiny; things that used to be thoughtless are examined.

Once a crush has been established, the relationship with that person is altered. Everyone has a different way of understanding and dealing with a crush.

“For some people, they’re really awkward and shy around [their crush],” Benito said.

This crush can be symbolic of a big change in the dynamic between the two people.

“I’ll sometimes stop talking to them altogether,” Meghan Cavolick (11) said.

A lot of people try to make something more out of their relationship with their crush and the way they act around them is suddenly amplified.

“You’ll start talking to them more, and you’ll always be looking at them,” Kamrin Martin (9) said. “You try to talk…as much as you can outside of school and get them to hang out with you all the time.”

Having a crush comes with plenty of hardships, but there are just as many moments that make it worth the struggle.

“The best part about having a crush is the feeling of being able to care for someone,” Conde said. “But the bad part is that they can hurt you.”

A crush can bring a new level of excitement by creating a new potential dynamic. It becomes an adventure for everyone involved.

“With my friends…if somebody likes someone else, it becomes a big deal,” Cavolick said. “It’s something we always talk about.”

On the other hand, there can be a big upside when a crush lives up to an expectation. Having a crush can intensify a normal relationship, and in some cases, cause people to grow closer.

“The good part about it is always having someone to be close with,” Benito said.

For many people, though, their ideal situation with their crush is not played out, and crushes can ultimately lead to let downs.

“The worst thing that can happen is when they don’t like you too,” Cavolick said.
Martin explained that most of the time, when a crush doesn’t result in an actual relationship, affection begins to dwindle.

“Usually, no one wants to take the extra step to go further and talk to the other person about their feelings or having a relationship, and the feelings just fade away,” Martin said.

Not only having a crush, but getting over one as well, can easily become something that takes up a lot of time and emotional input, which can become draining.

“It’s takes a lot of effort because it’s so confusing to figure out what the other person wants and if they like you back,” Allie Pappas (11) said.

It’s easy to become overly invested in a crush, which can be dangerous when those feelings aren’t reciprocated.

“For some people, it will take months to get over a crush,” Marin said.

Having a crush can take up a big part of a high schooler’s school year and through the ups and downs endured can be a growing experience that works out for the better.

Crushes can become something more than just feelings and turn into a success story. For Jacklyn Self (11) and Russell Swansen (11), what started as a crush developed into an actual relationship.

“Before we dated we were best friends for a long time and dated other people because we didn’t think we were right for each other,” Self said.

When the crush begins to bud, it is hardly ever a quick or easy process for the crush to turn into anything more than just feelings.

“We went on a few dates, but they were just awkward because he was my best friend,” Self said.
Despite any uncertainty, a lot of time and attention was dedicated to Jacklyn and Russell’s relationship before they had started dating. This effort is what transformed a crush into an actual relationship.

“Throughout the summer, though, we realized and now we are very happy together,” Self said.

The transition from having a crush on someone to actually dating them is rarely simple. Once that process is over, though, the time spent with that person shifts from complicated and confusing to comfortable and happy.

“[For] our actual first date, we took the train down to the city, and we went ice skating,” Self said. “After, we went to Shake Shack, and we exchanged Christmas presents,” Swansen said.