What Makes a Westtown Relationship Last?

Advice From Westtown Couples to Lonely Westtown Students.


Ali Zahm '23, Editor


On a crisp summer day at Westtown summer camp, Jhan Setthachayanon, ‘22, hit Sydney Kostal, ‘23, with a paper airplane. Since then, there’s been love in the air. Many Westtown students often doubt that they can get into a healthy, long lasting relationship at this school, or even just get past the talking stage and awkward hook-ups. Many couples prove this wrong, including the iconic paper airplane couple. 


“Just keep an open mind, you never know when you’re gonna meet someone. I didn’t even know who Jhan was at all,” said Sydney. Sydney and Jhan had known of each other for a full two years before they started dating. It wasn’t until summer camp that they officially met, and since then they have been going strong, with their six month anniversary marking right on Valentine’s Day. They emphasize the importance of boundaries in a relationship, because dating at a boarding school can be overwhelming: “You need to have a lot of empathy and understanding, and you need to be able to communicate.” Sydney adds that having fun in your relationship should be a priority. If you can’t laugh with the person throughout the stress of everyday life at Westtown, keep looking! 


Sydney and Jhan on a study date in the Westtown library. 


“If you’re in a relationship with someone and it obviously isn’t going to work, you shouldn’t push it,” said Kevin Kang, boyfriend to Cassie Hong. Every Westtown student most likely knows that Kevin and Cassie, class of ‘22, are one of Westtown’s greatest relationship success stories. Dating since their sophomore year, they are proof that a boarding school relationship can make it far past the awkward talking stage, and that settling should never be an option. According to Kevin, “If you know you want to date somebody, don’t let the fact that it’s a boarding school stop you. Just do it.” They both agree that they want to see each other every day, despite their busy lives and Kevin’s basketball schedule, and this is how they thrive. If you are not eager to spend time with the person, maybe they’re just not the right match for you. 


“At Westtown, it’s really easy to isolate yourself…but if you have a significant other to rely on, it’s like having a best friend you can rely on,” said Sophia Hammond. Sophia and Josh Thangaraj, both class of ‘23, were an unexpected match. They have known each other since their freshman year, but didn’t start dating until the beginning of their junior year, so people were surprised when they became a known couple. Now, Sophia and Josh are what you would call “couple goals,” and that’s proof that your perfect partner could be somebody you already know quite well. Sophia adds that having a romantic partner gives you something to look forward to, so don’t isolate yourself and get out there.


Next time you walk past somebody in the hallway, don’t doubt that they could potentially end up being your perfect match. Keep your eyes open, and embrace the unexpected…