By LEKHYA KOLLU
It haunts us from the moment we step foot into the school. We’ve all seen it, rolled our eyes, but done nothing to stop the nuisance that impacts high schoolers everywhere: public displays of affection. In the speedy race of five-minute passing, the usual rule with PDA is to keep your eyes down and pick up the pace- and maybe complain about it to your friend in study hall.
The squirming student witnesses are used to daily PDA, but familiarity doesn’t make dealing with it any less uncomfortable, especially when the couple happens to be blocking the only clear path to your next class. An unfortunate freshman, Eesha Kasibhatla, recounts a time where this left her in an awkward position: “I was running to my class and next thing I know there’s this couple kissing against the lockers in my way, but there’s nowhere to turn so I end up going through them, as in pushing them apart and getting yelled at by both of them in the process.” We fellow students aren’t unreasonable: we don’t mind dating, and we even find it cute. But it’s one thing for a couple to exchange a hug before class, and something entirely different when you can’t tell which arm belongs to which lover. That scene from The Notebook was sweet in the movie, but in the hallways it draws disgusted stares from people who can’t tear their eyes away. In the real world, they end up looking immature for needing a make-out session to deal with being separated for the next 45 minutes. It doesn’t help that everyone knows high school romances just don’t last, and we end up feeling sorry for the lovers who’ll be stuck with their hallway reputations long after they break up. In the rare and possibly unseen event where a brave student goes forward to question the lovebirds, they’ll be met with annoyance and maybe even an angry defense.
The couples’ justification is simple. “We’re in love, we’re past holding hands…can’t these high schoolers handle a little PG-13 content? Sure, most people opt for privacy, but as long as we’re comfortable with it, what’s wrong? It’s a school, a place to learn and have fun. Teachers may say they despise us, but they were once teenagers too, so they must know how it feels like to be young and in love.”
These teachers are the often overlooked sufferers of hallway PDA. Some unlucky souls deal with pairs of hormone-raging teenagers every time they step out of the safety of their classroom. They’re baffled by the students’ sheer determination to get in one more kiss, wondering why they can’t get these kids to show the same determination in the classroom.. Teachers may even feel a sense of responsibility to protect the other poor students from the scene, but they’re left questioning how they’re supposed to deal with the couple. The pair has already proven their obliviousness to everything around them.
The case is clear. PDA isn’t pleasant for anyone other than the two involved. So a word of advice to the high school sweethearts: treat yourselves to a quick hug or a peck on the cheek, but keep it toned down and out of the way. It’ll save the student body a whole lot of discomfort, and you’ll still be able to show the world how in “love” you are after school.