Cliques, Peer Pressure, and Teens
By Taylor, age 14, Ontario
Have you ever noticed that on the first day of school everybody has their own crowd, their own friends? Then there's you standing there with your friends, and all you want to do is fit in with a crowd, to be mentioned as a cheerleader or jock, to mean something to a group. Cliques aren't actually what you think they are. There a very many cliques, but few good ones. The clique you're in describes you best - your personality, the way you look, and the people you like.
What is a clique? A clique is you and your friends together and how you are labeled. I'm sure most of you have seen Mean Girls. It's all about cliques. You may fit in to one very well because you like sports or can cheer. But just because the "in crowd" has all these parties and you want to be invited doesn't mean you have to dress and act like them. Don't change yourself for someone else.
I have been trying to be someone I'm not just to impress a guy, and I have come to realize that I'm not being true to myself and it's not fair. He's getting the impression I'm into certain music and clothes when I'm not. I have my group of friends and he has his. I now realize I don't have to change just for someone to like me.
You may think the cheerleaders and jocks are the most well liked kids in school, but when you go around and actually ask people sometimes they don't like them one bit. Some are okay, but others treat you like crap just to feel what they need to get them through the day. They aren't cool because they can buy expensive clothes, wear tons of makeup, and live in a mansion. They're cool because of their personalities. Don't try so hard to change yourself because the friends you have now love you for you and the friends you will make won't. You're not impressing anybody.
Most people get sucked into cliques because of peer pressure. Girls are more likely than boys. The best way to stay out of cliques is to be friends with everyone, from the nerds, jocks, and cheerleaders to band geeks. Just enjoy your four years of high school. You're only a teen once and you only have one life to live.
Try getting the nerds to help the jocks out with math and the jocks to help the nerds out with girls. There are many cliques that can help other cliques. You may not think you belong to a clique, but you do. You don't have to belong to just one; you could like math, but also sports, and so fit in with both the nerds and the jocks.
I asked a few of my friends what they think about cliques, and this is what they said:
"I think they shouldn't happen, and it stereotypes people. It makes people think a certain way about someone else and puts a label on them, and no one should be labeled as anything." - Skye, 16
"I think they are good because you know your place in school." - Bailey, 15
"I find cliques aren't helpful because if you want to meet new people and you're fed up with your clique it makes it difficult because your clique hates other cliques." - Kyle, 17
"They can be bad because they make people feel excluded, especially if you're new to the school and don't know your way around." - Cathy, 14
"I think they're silly. We should all be equal because then there wouldn't be bullying." - Taylor, 14
In conclusion, 4 out of 5 of the friends I asked don't like cliques. They think they're bad, hurtful, and the people in the cliques usually have power over everybody else.