If the grades don’t touch, neither should you

Valentine’s day has come and gone, a time for couples to share love with one another. But some age gaps between couples are creepy and sometimes down right illegal. It shouldn’t be seen as morally okay for seniors to date freshmen because both freshmen and senior brains aren’t rationally developed. Freshmen are severely less socially developed and most seniors have already begun the radical change of adulthood.

According to First Things First, the brain is 80% of its adult size by the time a child is three, but certain parts of the brain are still severely underdeveloped until years later. One of which is the rational part of the brain. The rational part of the brain generally won’t fully develop until the age of 25. That’s why adults think more rationally. Until this part of the brain is fully developed, teens think with a different part of the brain. “Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part” (Stanford Medicine). The part of the brain that thinks rationally, the prefrontal cortex, responds to situations with logical reasoning rather than emotion.

Most freshmen are around thirteen or fourteen years old when they enter high school. According to Very Well Family, “Thirteen-year-olds are also developing the ability to think abstractly…they begin to understand concepts such as faith and trust.” The thirteen year old is just beginning to understand one of the main concerns of a relationship, trust.

In relationships, one must trust their partner fully, which is hard to do if they are just learning the skill. Not to mention, while freshmen are trying to tackle concepts such as trust, seniors are becoming “young adults”. According to a study done by Michigan State University, the average eighteen year old values a committed relationship, and looks toward a more “adult social setting”.

The contrast between the thirteen year old brain and the eighteen year old brain is drastic. As the thirteen year old is developing in the physical and emotional aspects, the eighteen year old is an adult, looking for commitment in their relationships, and expects others to treat them as adults. As the day of love comes and goes, be wary of the decisions you make and the people you date.

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