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Expand your social circle - good for you, good for others

March 28, 2006|by HILLARY APPLEBY

High school days are the best days of our lives - days we will never forget. You should share it with as many people as you possibly can. But some people feel lonely at school, excluded by cliques.

A clique is defined as a small, exclusive group of friends - a group that is closed off from other types of people and is selective about the types of people with whom it associates.

So how is it exactly that a person becomes part of a clique? In my opinion, the answers are still a mystery.

Honestly, I am most likely in a clique myself. But on the other hand I tend to be friendly, and talk to whoever is around me at the time.

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You never think about it while you are laughing with your friends and having a good time, but there are other people that are dying to feel affection from a close friend. Not being part of a clique can cause people stress and/or depression.

There are many teens in school who feel completely isolated - this is where the stress and/or depression part comes in. There is not a single soul on Earth who wants to be isolated.

Cliques at times can act hostile toward other cliques, and arguments might occur. Some cliques find themselves superior to others. It is at this point where we come in contact with disagreements, and friction between clique groups.

Although it would be virtually impossible, I believe cliques should be erased from high school to diminish the stigma of isolation.

Cliques for girls are primarily based on popularity. Once you hit middle school, it is all about looks, clothes, athletic ability and charisma. This continues all the way up until your graduation in high school.

Although many adults might not realize it, cliques continue throughout their entire lifetime. The only difference is that when we reach adulthood our groups are no longer called cliques.

It would be relevant to say that cliques are every bit present in our school. In a survey I recently conducted in four homerooms - one from each grade level - at Greencastle-Antrim High School, 61 percent of students believe that cliques - preps, jocks, geeks, and gothic - are present in our high school.

To sum it all up, we need to stand up and act upon the presence of cliques in our high school and society. It is a simple task to say hello or smile to someone new every day. Expand your social circle and look for other friends who are willing to do the same. If we all work together, eventually cliques will not be as noticeable in high school or in our society.

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