Build Me Up, Buttercup: On Relationships at IMSA

Students participating in the Cumbia dance for Casa de Alma | Source: ISP

With its strict rules and typical breed of student, IMSA doesn’t seem to be the kind of place to particularly promote and provide for romantic relationships.  It does, however, seem to have a lot of them, especially with the recent rush of new senior couples. Couples seem to thrive on IMSA’s cramped living spaces and little campus.  Though I have yet to understand how or why, I cannot help but be drawn to the curious nature of IMSA’s couples. Cute or corny, they all exist in one way or another, seemingly happier than the rest of us.

It is often said that IMSA is one of the most stressful experiences in its students’ lives.  Indeed, this could be part of the reason why relationships seem so abundant at IMSA.  When the body is stressed, it releases two hormones in particular:  adrenaline and oxytocin.  The second of these two, oxytocin, is very important to the mind when forming relationships, so much so that it has been nicknamed “the cuddle hormone.”  When it is released into the body, it promotes social behavior by facilitating trust and attachment to other people; it causes the body to crave physical and emotional contact.  It’s possible that the high levels of stress that students experience makes them more prone to forming relationships.

Whether it’s a boyfriend or a girlfriend, “significant others” often become your best friend.  They are one of the people closest to you, and after a while, they start to get to know the real you.  Even though this connection can sometimes lead to heartbreak and pain, it’s good to have someone to hold on to.  We all need a confidant, and that person can be your significant other.  You need not know all or tell all, but trustworthiness is an important characteristic in life, and having a good relationship can help build that trait in anyone.

High school is a time for growing and changing.  None of us know who we are or what we mean to this world yet.  It is the place to discover yourself and the world around you.  It’s the time to learn about how people think and react.  Take advantage of the opportunity.  Take the time to be yourself and enjoy your friendships and relationships.  In the end, it’s important to remember that IMSA is still a high school and that high school is supposed to be the time of our lives. So live a little, laugh a little, and a love a little; you never know what tomorrow will bring.

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