Opinions: Rocca-ing the world: The league of cliques

Out of the comfort zone


Lauren Rocca

In the league of cliques, no one wins.

High school makes it hard to fit in.

With so many labels and social constructs, the way people look and the activities they choose decide who their friends are.

It’s like we all have to choose a team, or we won’t have friends, and as a result, the League of Cliques forms.

These cliques have become such a norm that it is actually out of the ordinary to be friends with everyone.

I understand that these people spend a lot of time together and bond closer; I have done the same with my Golden Line teammates.

However, I still talk to anyone at school. So many wonderful people have come out of it during my past three years here.

Talking to people who I normally wouldn’t talk to actually makes me a better, more cultured, more accepting person.

Sometimes when I sit with a “squad” or a “clique,” I can’t help but notice that they run out of things to talk about and fall back on petty gossip.

But when I sit with new people who don’t really know the same people I do, we can’t help but talk about ideas or share stories, a conversation much more intriguing and worthwhile.

As much as I love my friends, I’ve heard many of their stories and opinions on things a lot more than once. It’s nice to hear new things for a change.

Recently, I hung out with one of my friends who I had not made the time to see in a while. To my pleasant surprise, I found out that he had been writing songs. I made him play them for me, and they were absolutely incredible.

In addition, he talked to me about books and politics. Honestly, none of my close friends read much, so I never get to talk about books. But because he does, we got to compare and contrast stories with one another.

And we got to compare and contrast our political views in a way that opened both of our eyes to new sides. Clearly, I am a sucker for people. I would literally give the shirt off my back to someone in need, so I have never understood the argument against welfare and universal healthcare.

This friend helped me understand the issue from a much more conservative point-of-view. Those programs made him feel like others were taking advantage of hardworking citizens.

Wow! I had no idea people felt that way. And what a great start for another conversation.

Differences strengthen acceptance.

Differences strengthen conversations.

Differences strengthen self-discovery.

It’s not that having a few closer friends is a bad thing at all. It is actually really beneficial to have a select few that I can trust no matter what. But if I were to cut myself off to only these few people, I would miss out on so many eye-opening experiences.

I just can’t seem to understand when people started seeing themselves as, in a way, “not allowed” to hang out with certain people because of their social status.

One of my really close friends actually told me that my friends and I were “out of his league even for a friend,” which shocked me. My friends and I thought he was out of our league because he is so unbelievably smart.

So I discovered two things:

  1. Social status does not mean squat. It’s an idea completely made up by word of mouth–the most unreliable source of information in high school.
  2. There are no “leagues” for true friends. There are only “leagues” for people involved in cliques.

So let’s rip up the bracket of cliques.

Let’s forget about the league we play for.

Let’s quit the team.

Let’s join together.

Because in the end, either an individual wins alone or we all win together. And we all deserve to win.