The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Young and in Love

We all start off as little kids, experiencing the world with fresh perspective and all-encompassing curiosity. In our first few years we find out what passions we have, what we want to learn more about and whom we like to be around. As the month of February brings back the Hallmark holiday of love and romance and Feb 16-22 is International Flirting Week, CHS students and staff reflect on the first people who made their hearts swell.

According to Principal Joan Benz, her first crush was in either her third or fourth grade class.

“We did not have a cafeteria in my elementary school, so everybody always brought boxed or bagged lunches, and that’s what I remember brought us together,” Benz said. “His name was Ronnie: he had dark hair, was very cute, told funny stories. I remember giggling a lot. We had semi-intellectual conversations every lunch about social studies and the National Geographic.

According to Benz, a crush crosses the line into a more mature relationship when one feels a deeper excitement rather than simply the exhilaration of being with someone new.

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According to senior Maddie Pasco, the change has something more to do with being comfortable and openly “obnoxious” with a crush.

“As a kid, you are innocent and want to be nice to everybody, but as you grow up, you want to be more real,” Pasco said. “I met my first crush in kindergarten. He was really smart and I thought that was cool – we like the same TV shows like PBS. We kissed on the cheek and both got time out.”

For some, a first crush doesn’t come along as early as kindergarten, such as for sophomore James Teixeira, who met his in the sixth grade.

“Her name was Ashley Hicks, and she always seemed to have wind blowing in her hair,” Teixeira said. “She was hot. One time, she dropped her pencil and as I reached to get it, we both touched hands. I leaned in to kiss her and got a face full of floor.”

Though their relationship didn’t bloom at first, Teixeira and Hicks have been dating for four years, though Hicks attends another Maryland high school.

Whether a young couple connects due to their shared admiration for a television show or instant mutual attraction, an air of confidence seems to be a recurring element to the making of a first crush.

“I was a really shy kid, but he was very outspoken,” sophomore Tiffany Cao said. “His name was King and we met in first grade. He was the only guy that didn’t think girls had cooties. He was social, kind to everyone, the only kid with blonde hair, and he had these big blue eyes that seemed genuine.”

According to junior Colton Neubauer, maturity levels and development of personality become more significant as one grows older, whereas when one is younger, it’s more about who is “cool” or “cute.”

“I had a crush on this girl named Bailee,” Neubauer said. “She was very energetic and giggly. I liked that she was happy all the time and I could joke around with her.”

Depending on character traits, the ability to be upfront with confessing love either comes easy as a kid or is completely unthinkable.

“I never dropped any hints to my knowledge,” Neubauer said. “I didn’t have the guts to do that as a child.”

While many don’t ever act on proclaiming their interest, some have other ideas about how to end up with whom they admire. For AP Literature teacher Eleanor Goodwin, becoming good friends with her first crush was the chosen route of choice.

“We were both 14 years old and in the eighth grade,” Goodwin said. “We met in this English school in Liberia, Africa, and our class was very tight-knit. He was a new kid and I was assigned to teach him algebra. He was so good looking and he dressed very well – preppy. I also loved his posture. He became the class president, was smart, cared about people, the perfect possible boyfriend, and so all the other girls liked him. I stood back while he went through five other girlfriends and just became his friend.”

According to Goodwin, after he broke up with his fifth girlfriend, she met with him for a walk on the beach where they had their first romantic conversation “under the moon.” After that, they stayed together through the process of going to different universities, and his choice of joining the military to fight in the Vietnam War.

“The only struggle was when he went to the military while I was in college,” Goodwin said. “But we made it through that experience; he got pneumonia during basic training and transferred to my school.”

Goodwin and her first crush have now been married for 39 years.

Though it is not as common today to stay with a first love forever, there is something to be said for whom one first finds attractive.

“I saw right away that my first crush was intelligent, caring, while of course being good-looking,” Goodwin said. “I think young people can intuit the most important things in a profound relationship.”

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Young and in Love