When you walk in the cafeteria, what do you see? At Ryle High School and most high schools you see cliques. A clique is a small group of people with shared interests who spend time together and do not allow others to join them. As a freshman the cafeteria is very scary, all you know is your friends from middle school, but now there are kids from other middle schools and it’s all one big jumble of nervous kids trying to find their friends. At some schools there are so many kids, that lunch times are split up. The chances of seeing all of your friends are slim. As the school year goes on you will end up sitting with a group of people. That is your clique, you are with people that are the most like you within the school, you feel accepted. It keeps you close with the people you know but also alienates you from everyone else. Some of the most common or well known cliques are: athletes, artsy intellectuals, actors, girly girls, preps, popular,hipsters, tomboys,foreigners, gamers, outsiders, troublemakers, class clowns, slackers, emo, players, FFA, curious intellectual, musicians, and singers. There are so many more that exist, because of this we decided to poll some of our classmates to see what clique they think they’re from and to see if cliques are relevant in all schools.
The reason the topic is cliques is because we feel like it is prominent at many schools. Ryle is very diverse and we think that it’s a shame that not everyone is willing to get out of their clique to meet other people. You could become really good friends with someone you never thought you’d meet because they’re in a different clique.
Personally, until this project where I have really thought long and hard about it, I didn’t think I was in a clique, I thought I was everyone’s friend. I am friends with lots of people, most of them within my clique. There aren’t many people that hop around from clique to clique. Its very rare for someone to be in multiple cliques, my older brother is kind of like that. He is super nice and accepting to everyone. He is really good a understanding people’s backgrounds and he doesn’t judge a book by its cover. I really look up to him for it, he is literally friends with everyone. Everyone loves him, he has probably a friend or two in every clique. I think if more people were like him it would help the school become more diverse. The cliques might fade away. My clique is mostly cheerleaders and just a big group of girls that have known each other for a while. I would probably be kind of scared if cliques just started to disappear, I have enough friends where I wouldn’t be lost but where would I sit at lunch?
On the first day of school, when I walked into the cafeteria, I immediately noticed every different clique. However, I didn’t know my own. Before I looked deeper into the meaning of what a clique was, I didn’t recognize that I was in a clique. I so easily classified people before I even met them but I didn’t classify myself. Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to be like so many high schoolers. I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to be in a clique, but I also didn’t not want to be in a clique. I see people walking down the halls saying ‘hey’ or ‘what’s up’ to all different people and I want to be like them, but it’s hard to go outside of my comfort zone. This year at Ryle I’ve learned that you don’t need a ‘clique’ to belong. The only thing stopping me from being different, knowing more people than those who are in my clique, is myself. What’s the harm in greeting someone who isn’t in my clique? Would anyone be offended if you smiled at them in the hallway? I believe that you don’t have to be in a clique to have friends. Everyone is different and sometimes an unexpected friend comes from letting go of those differences and accepting everyone.
Personally all throughout middle school I was a cheerleader and I guess I was considered apart of the popular clique. I didn’t really understand what cliques were until about around the middle of 7th grade when I started understanding the diverse groups among us. I didn’t really think it was a bad thing honestly until this year. This year I realized that some people are outcast or without a clique while I’m still, even though I’m not a cheerleader, part of the “popular” clique. Cliques are not a very huge issue, but they sure do separate us and cause us to branch out less and to stay confined in our groups. I know that for me I look at the person themselves, not how they are labeled by others, but by their personality. However sometimes it gets tough to try talking to new people and I do understand that, but I think that everyone should try to talk to someone that they never thought they would converse with because a great outcome could occur. I think that by branching out many of the cliques would no longer be cliques because we would have friends from every group! The best way to start branching out is to lead by example. Maybe talk to someone outside of your friend group or try to get to know some one that you aren’t necessarily compatible with. Encourage your friends to do the same.