We say we hate them and yet we still make them

Cliques have been around longer than we have and yet we do nothing about them.

ART ILLUSTRATION BY GRAHAM DIFFENBAUGH & ABIGAIL DOUGLAS

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Cliques ruin a teen’s sense of belonging. Self-imposed segregation has been going on for decades. Your parents and grandparents went through the same thing in high school. Just because you are nice to everyone does not make you a friend. Changing it won’t be easy, but it can happen.

It will happen, if we open ourselves up to new opportunities.

Outsiders are real, meaning that the people excluded from the clique can not help but feel unimportant. Social standards have already been made. Even if we did not make them yourself society did. Our school environment did.

Teens with different beliefs, views and morals are taught to reside in particular cliques. Democrat or Republican, popular or not, teens are divided.

Research shows that when teens are part of a group they have a sense of belonging and acceptance, rather than feeling as a misfit or outcast, according to Kidshealth.

No one wants to feel abandoned in high school. The classes are hard enough and high school has yet again thrown a new status to level up on.

Crocs are in, and so are white Vans. Forget about your white Chuck Taylors because they aren’t good enough anymore, and according to the status quo, you aren’t either.

We see cultivating groups form and grow every year. What do they have in common? Fashion. hobbies, and even sports. Creativity and diversity do not come along when we are secluded to one group, one mind.

Great minds indeed do think alike but, “having different people in your life makes you more fruitful, and understanding,” according to Embracing Diversity U.S.

Social diversity helps teens understand many viewpoints on controversial topics such as abortion and religion. It builds unique perspectives in a community. When stuck in your own head, you only see what you think and believe rather than expanding out.

Dressing a certain way and even being involved in sports can make you part of a clique. Instead of being accepted teens put on a facade: getting defined by gender, race, ethnicity, even by the clothes we wear or the sports we play. If someone plays football they are dumb, but to even play a sport you need to maintain a certain grade point average that you need to care about and so does your coach. Teens that do not play sports are then classified as nerds or geeks. You should be able to be both. It would be so nice to be able to play Dungeons and Dragon and be a varsity football player with no judgement, but that does not happen. It could though, if we quit judging people by their hobbies and who they hangout with we could then cross these social borders we have made.

Unspoken and self-made stereotypes have confined us into a unicellular world that only we see. Friendships that form that you never thought possible end up teaching you the most because you never thought of it. It was something new. Something you didn’t think could be possible.

If we broke up these cliques, bullying would decrease, and maybe people would not feel so alone or feel so different from others if they were accepted for them and not what our peers have made us.

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