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Sound advice from 10th-graders: “Holding on can harm more than letting go”

For their peer-to-peer sex ed project, Camila and Petra researched and did a presentation on healthy and unhealthy relationships. Why did they pick that topic?

Camila: “You’re an adolescent and you’re trying to explore your sexuality and your relationships to other people and it’s important to know what is a good thing to get into and what is unhealthy, because you don’t want to damage yourself in the long run.”
Petra: “Since we’re so young, we don’t really know what to expect. And in relationships there comes a lot of challenges, and I think we both have learned that. Doing more research about it helped us better understand what is a healthy and what is not. Because sometimes you don’t know if you are in an unhealthy relationship or not. You’re just so in love with that person, but it might be doing you more harm than good. Sometimes holding on does more harm than letting go. It was a very good learning experience for us, I think.”

Did it help you on a personal level?
Petra: “Yes, I think so. In the future, I’d be able to see if the relationship I would be in would be healthy or unhealthy. I would probably be able to spot it earlier on now due to all the research that we did. In the past I probably would not have been able to notice, but now that I’ve been reading about it, I think I would.”
Camila: “It was really good to widen our perspective and to help ourselves not make those mistakes in the future but also talk other people into not making those mistakes for themselves.”
Petra: “I can see that some of my friends are really not happy in their relationships, but it’s hard to admit to yourself that you don’t want to be in the relationship when your heart wants to but it’s just not good for you.”
Camila: “You think about sex ed and you think about the obvious: contraception, peer pressure, pornography, but you don’t take the time to think about whether your relationship is good for you or not and whether you should get out of it or stay and fix it.”