Drama. Homework. Relationships. Cliques. Peer pressure. Grades. What do all of these things have in common? High School.
As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The high school experience is different for everyone depending on a lot of things, like how much money your parents have or what grades you score on exams. One big topic we have discovered that definitely affects our everyday lives is the constant separation of people based on their interests. In other words, cliques. Although many people may not realize it, cliques are involved in kids’ lives constantly. Cliques determine many things about who a child is.
A few students from Ryle High school were asked to answer questions about cliques. After the interview, it is clear that cliques play a huge role in schools. Some responses are shown below along with our responses in italics.
Would you agree that there are many cliques here at Ryle?
Students: All students interviewed said yes.
What type of cliques do you think are at Ryle High School?
Students: Popular kids, nerds, band kids, troublemakers, gamers, clanless people, skateboarders, intelligent people, artists, emos, country people, athletes, loners, social butterflies, overachievers, goth kids, homosexuals, and the people who think they are better than everyone else
Us: Smart people, emos, popular people, judgy people, people who don’t care what others think of them, homosexuals, nerds, overachievers, athletes, social butterflies,
What clique do you think you belong in?
Students: Athletes social butterflies, smart alecs, artists, band group, athletes.
Us: Athletes and Social butterflies.
Do you think some cliques are more important than others/ more popular?
“Yes, the popular ones”
“Yes, the jocks, artists and intelligent people”
“Yes but people have their own opinions so it varies for different people”
“Yes, the popular group”
“I think some people would rather be in some of them ( like the popular cliques), but none are more important”
Do you think people should be divided into cliques?
Students: 70% said yes 30% said no
Us: All of us said no
Is there a leader in every clique?
“Yes there usually is”
“Some do but some do not”
“There is usually a group of people who lead”
“No, but taking control and leading comes naturally to some people”
When you first came to Ryle, was there a specific clique you wanted to join? Are you apart of it? If so, what did you do to be apart of it?
“Yes, the sports team. I got into it by making the team”
“Yes, I have wanted to be a part of band and this year I joined”
“Not really. I talk to everyone”
“No. I just wanted friends”
“Yes, the athletes, I got into it by making the team”
How exactly do you know when you are a part of a clique?
“It’s just who you hang out with”
“It’s the people who know your name and want to be your friend”
“When you hang out with all of the same people”
“When you spend most of your time with them in and out of school”
What are the things that separate the different types of cliques?
All of the above
Have you ever been rejected or unaccepted by a clique?
Students: 50% said yes 50% said no
Us: All said no.
After all of our interviews, it is clear that many people believe that cliques play a huge role in their lives. Although they all agree that they are constantly surrounded by cliques, many people have different opinions on them. Cliques occur in every school around the world, and it becomes so natural no one even realizes it. Members of different cliques can often be very rude to people involved in other ones. It is important that people realize just because you are involved in a specific group, doesn’t mean you have to ignore or harass other people. This ties in with the fact that cliques can be a great source of finding friends, but it should never be an excuse to bully others. As freshmen at Ryle High School, we have been exposed to many different types of people and have all gone through experiences that are caused from our choice of friends, clothes, and even language.
We chose cliques because they play a huge role in our lives. All three of us fit in with the athletes. We all made that choice by trying out for the volleyball team over the summer even before the first day of school. This has affected who we hang out with, where we sit in the lunch room, what we do after school, and what we wear. Cliques happen in every grade and every school, but high schools show a major increase in them. It makes someone’s actions regarding school and outside of school revolve around that specific group. The clique that you are apart of describes a lot about your character and impacts your life completely.
Before the first three days of being a freshman at Ryle were over, we already knew where we stood on the social calendar. Rumors spread and sooner or later all you have left is your reputation that follows you from year to year. Most of the students we know now, we met in 1st grade. Obviously different cliques have grown from each grade to the next but mostly everyone stays in the same one. It all starts when you are young. I have noticed my younger sister coming home from school and wearing something that I never could have pictured her wearing before. When I ask why she’s wearing that specific item she replies “this is what my friends wear” or even “everybody wears this.” She obviously strives to fit in with the crowd. Without even knowing my sisters peers, I can already tell cliques appear in her school just as much as they do in mine.
Everyone is guilty of wanting to be prettier, cooler, funnier and just better then the people around them. Everything seems to be a competition from our stand point. Belonging to one specific clique changes everyone over time and if you are not careful, they can destroy you.