Most parents completely write off high school relationships saying they’re ‘not real’, ‘you’ll never last’ and ‘it’s not like you’re going to get married.’

They act like our relationships when we’re young are somehow invalid, just because we’re not at the point where we want to settle down, buy a house, get married and have kids.

What they don’t realise is that your high school relationships are some of the most important. They happen during a time where everything is up in the air- you’re not sure who you are or what you want your future to be, but it doesn’t really matter.

Because the person you pair up with in high school becomes the one who sticks by you through it all. They know exactly how you’re feeling when you’re stressed about exams or the assignment coming up because they’re going through the exact same thing. They get the things that your parents have long forgotten about- the stress and the pressure that comes with being in high school.

They’re there when you have a fight with your little brother and when you get a bad mark on your exam. They’re the person who sticks by you when you cut off your toxic friends and when you finally walk out of the exam hall for the last time ever. They’re the person who pays you out for being on your Ls but are the first one to pick you up when you need a lift. They’re the person who knows how confused you are about what the heck you’re going to do next year.

Everyone is so busy trying to convince us that young love isn’t real that they forget to tell us what happens when your high school relationship ends.

They don’t tell us that when you leave the comfort of high school things change and people drift apart. You’ll go down different pathways or you’ll start to focus on work instead of each other.

And it hurts.

Just because you’re young and don’t have the house and kids and dog doesn’t mean that you won’t spend days crying because you had to say goodbye to your best friend. Their absence from your life will be obvious, after all you’ve just spent your teenage years together. School meant that you spent hours, days, weeks and months with each other. You never had to worry about seeing them next because you could always trust that you would see them in class.

What they don’t tell you about high school relationships is they’re real. They’re raw and authentic and full of emotion; some that you’ve never experienced before. They’re no less significant just because you’re young or because they have a chance of ending early- if anything they’re more important because they will shape the person you become in the years to come.

Enjoy your relationships while you’re young. Have fun and muck around. Feel every emotion to their fullest, good and bad. Tell people you love them and cry when they say they don’t love you back. Give everything to the people you love when you’re young and ignore people when they say your emotions aren’t valid.