HERE AT Granger we are a school of great diversity, but cliques are to be expected at any high school. Certain groups are more prone to be involved with one another because of culture or similar interests. Modern day cliques are similar to past decade’s peer groups, examples of these being the jocks, stoners, brainiacs, and theater kids.
Although we still have similar groups, we have a few new interests among groups such as the whole phenomenon with anime lovers and the “vsco girl” stereotype. In many ways, modern day cliques seem to reflect past generation peer groups.
Lower status crowds are more heavily influenced by current events, popular culture, and social media.
Most people frame cliques as a negative thing, as they often lead to social isolation or not feeling like you belong. High school cliques are just human nature, many feel the desire to sort ourselves into groups for reasons of familiarity, security, and support.
Some students may believe that cliques are more of an issue than a solution. “No one is willing to make friends or be social. I hate it and as a senior in high school, I can say that school has not been a good place for me to be. People can be rude, close-minded, and too stuck up to make friends,” said Alex Ariaga (12).
In some ways, these opinions make total sense. People want to come to a place where they feel wanted and accepted. Here at Granger, we have many varieties of cliques. Research shows that the more popular kids tend to be affluent, attractive, and well-known. Students who aren’t as well-known often do not look upon them highly.
“If you think about it, people are just resources by the more people you know or friends you have. That person could be the door to more opportunities,” Andres Panada (11) said. Opinions like these open up a whole new conversation about cliques. They are often built from clubs and sports, or even a certain interest in a school subject. Often at Granger, you notice sports teams tend to flock together. Knowing these people and becoming a team can build you up and create opportunities that you never knew were there.
We have a lot of students that may be known as “floaters.” These are the students that don’t really have a specific group that they hang out with. These students are generally shy but also polite and friendly. They are friends with someone from every group and get along with most people.
There is a very large difference between a friend group and a clique. Some groups stick together for a long time. Others drift apart after a while as people form new interests, make new friends, or just come to find out that they have less in common.
People can move in and out of different groups, and can be apart of several at a time. ”Kids are scared to make friends and being vulnerable. There is a bunch of cliques so it’s harder to associate with other people,” said Gabriel Carillo (11). Cliques attract people for different reasons. For some people, being popular or cool is the most important thing. Cliques give them a place where they can get this social status.
Other people want to be in cliques because they don’t like to feel left out. Some people simply feel it’s better to be on the inside than the outside.
Clique membership is usually tightly controlled by the leaders. These social leaders are the ones with the power to decide who should be regarded as cool and who should not. This type of membership control usually happens in cliques of girls. As many great kids have found, entry into a clique isn’t guaranteed.
In fact, a girl who is seen as likeable and popular may actually be excluded from belonging to a clique. That’s because her personality or confidence may pose a threat to the leaders.
She might not be a good “follower”, especially if she can be popular enough on her own. This is why the opinions on cliques in high school are so varied among Granger students.