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Just before the bell Monday morning, a group of freshmen girls squealed through the hallways of Oldham County High School, buzzing about the results of a computer-generated compatibility test.
The neatly folded list of “matches” on pastel paper linked one girl to a senior heartthrob.
But for Autumn Hall, a junior, compatibility and love are two very different things.
“I was like, ‘He’s in 12th grade, he doesn’t even know you breathe,’” she said, overhearing the pack of freshmen.
Hall, who is single, said she gets a kick out of the way the results bring the spirit of Valentine’s Day to OCHS. She said she thinks freshmen girls usually read too much into the test results, which are given out before the annual celebration of love every year.
Most students at Oldham County High School say compatibility test results are just as useful as the Magic 8 Ball or a fortune cookie. Still, curiosity pushed many to fork out a few bucks in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day to discover their matches from the survey. It’s like a teen version of eHarmony.com.
Hall didn’t take a test. She said she’s content not knowing who she’s compatible with just yet.
“I’ve totally given up on finding a boyfriend,” she said. “I’d rather focus on school.”
Students lined up during the lunch periods at the high school Monday, unabashedly paying for the results at a counter in the lobby and darting back to their friends. Many hovered contemplatively over the list then passed it to their friends. Others announced their top matches, verifying aloud that their friends made it to the top of their lists.
Compatibility tests called Data Match were dispersed to homeroom classes at the beginning of the semester. Melissa Longhofer, a business teacher at OCHS, said 858 of OCHS’ nearly 1,400 students participated. The Future Business Leaders of America fundraise by charging students for the tests.
The multiple choice test asked questions like, “If you were a Starbucks drink, what would you be?” and “What is your ideal date?” The results include a list of most compatible girls and most compatible guys along with a list of “unlikely” matches. The students are ranked with other participants according to how many of the same answers they chose.
If opposites attract, these test results aren’t very reliable. But, as many students indicated Monday, that doesn’t mean the results aren’t fun.
Austin Gentry, a senior and president of the FBLA, shouted at a few of his friends who made the top of his list. His best friend made the top of his list as the most compatible girl.
Senior Chelsea Bobbitt spent some time analyzing her list before she reported back to her friends. She doesn’t plan to date certain classmates based on the report, but admits she has considered the results.
“No. 1 is really nice,” she said. “But he’s really more of a friend.”
Savannah Whitworth, a junior, said she is willing to consider dating the compatible boys from her results. But she questions whether the results are matching her with the right people.
“I’ve never gotten anybody I like, though,” she said.
Whitworth and junior Santana Barnes agree the tests can stir up tension at OCHS. Whitworth found a friend’s boyfriend at the top of her list, but said his ranking didn’t mean the two were destined for love.
“There’s enough drama out here anyway,” Barnes said.
Kevin Mockus, a junior, bought his girlfriend, Marissa Leese, a sophomore, her compatibility test, which came with an artificial rose or sucker. He read the results with her quietly, denying any insecurity about who was at the top of his girlfriend’s list. Either way, he knew he definitely wasn’t her No. 1 — he opted not to take the test.
But Leese was more concerned with the girls she was ranked with than scoping out the guys that made her list.
“I like seeing how close me and my girlfriends are,” she said.
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