High School Cliques
High school cliques are typical during teenage years, giving members a feeling of acceptance and belonging. But I believe that cliques conversely damage a teen’s self esteem. The high school should get involved in helping all students feel more “socially included”. How can a student feel like they socially fit in? It is the responsibility of the high school to create an atmosphere for the student body which promotes acceptance and inclusion of other kids, allowing kids to feel like they belong.
Cliques tend to be exclusive, only accepting those who are similar to them such as their interest in sports, after-school activities, hobbies, or even by appearance and other superficial things. They also tend to leave out all the kids who are “socially awkward” or different, and they bully others to make themselves more powerful to their peers. High school cliques form for various reasons, all of which provide safety in numbers. Teens in high school cliques basically allow their members to be comfortable with kids with whom they can identify. Every clique is different and has different personalities and interests. High school cliques get challenged when someone new enters the picture. The particular group has its already established members, and they are threatened and afraid of how their social group will affected if this newcomer enters. They don’t allow the newcomer to be included in their group. The New York Times, author Tamar Lewin explained “Adolescence has always been a time of identity formation, with inclusion, and exclusion, trying out new ideas, styles, and friends. And good looks, athletic prowess, academic achievement, and money have always helped to define the social terrain.” As teenagers struggle to form personalities and develop who they are, they do so at the expense of others, while protecting themselves behind the doors of cliques.
Another problem with high school cliques is that kids in them feel superior to some of the student who have trouble socially or are reluctant to be in a social situation. For example, a student transfers to new school and doesn’t know anyone. The cliques seem to feel superior because they already have an established group of friends, while the newcomer is still struggling. This would be a great opportunity for the high school counselor or the teachers to help students feel included in the high school social scene by introducing them to kind and friendly students. Cliques tend to have the same ideas or follow the same opinions on different topics. They usually think alike. When someone new enters the picture, they may have new ideas and opinions that may clash with the existing group. Their solution is to exclude that particular person, in order to keep their social circle “normal” in their minds, so they don’t have to change their thinking. “If students only spend time with others who are like them racially, socially, or otherwise they may never learn...