If the grades don’t touch, neither should you


Evie Pazan

Graphic by Evie Pazan

Differences in grade level– a factor that creates an interesting dilemma of what scenarios are acceptable (albeit sometimes frowned upon) and which ones should result in a court case. It should be obvious that a freshman dating a super senior that has been held back ten years is wrong, right? Relationships that seem so extreme and inappropriate still happen, and I’m going to share my thoughts on them.

First of all, the best way to avoid a potential grooming case is to just not date in high school. You may be disappointed by how anticlimactic my big statement is, but I think it’s the smartest way to go about it. In fact, a study done in 2019 by the University of Georgia showed that teens who don’t date in high school often display better social skills and are generally less depressed than teens who do. I still think that if you’re going to date, you should stay inside of your grade.

The only acceptable grade difference in my opinion is the sophomore-junior relationship. Seniors are usually 18. Other grades are usually not 18. Nothing more needs to be said. Freshmen shouldn’t try dating anyone in a grade above them because you might think you are the second coming of Ch-rizz-t, but in reality: YOU ARE A VICTIM.

It’s also wrong for sophomores to be dating freshmen. You couldn’t find anyone during your first year of high school so now you’ve decided to prey on the newcomers? Weirdo.

Coming back to what I said about seniors and other grades dating; it’s mostly gross, but I believe that it could be acceptable if it only differs by one grade. I’m not a lawyer or anything, but I think that juniors and seniors CAN be okay. It’s just that as soon as either person turns 18 my advice is hindered by convoluted laws.

You may not believe me, but maturity levels differ a LOT between grades, which is yet another reason to not cross those boundaries. Especially for freshmen, the levels of maturity are also heavily different inside the grade itself. 

Age differences between adults are nothing compared to the same differences between younger people. The younger the people are, the worse the gaps become. My parents have a 3-year age gap, but I think it’s fine since they are adults. The rate at which one matures slows down the older one gets, therefore a 3-year age difference doesn’t have a large maturity difference. If a freshman and a senior date, that’s also a 3 year age gap, but a horrible one. 

I hope anyone reading this that’s currently in one of these relationships won’t take any offense… unless you’re a senior dating a freshman, all offense meant in that case.

Of course, there are exceptions, even in situations like the ones previously mentioned. Having skipped a grade or held back one* can make the age gap smaller to non-existent, and in those cases it is up to you to work it out. Just watch how far you push it. *(Or when you are old/young for your grade etc.)

To sum up, a friend of mine once quoted, “If your grade levels don’t touch, neither should you,” and I think they’re truly words to live by.

(Take this article with a grain of salt, relationships should be based on age, often not grade, as the age cut offs for grade level vary. You can be 2 years older than someone but only a grade apart, or a few weeks apart and in different grades. Please have fun reading this and take any points you feel are important. The overall message is a good one, but remember that age is more important than grade.)

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