Cliques seem to be a persistent problem in high schools around the country, with them constantly appearing in media as these leeches of society feeding off of negativity.
Uni largely seems to be an exception to the destructive social environment that cliques bring. Obviously, Uni is a high school. No matter how selective or how small our school may be, we are all just teenagers in high school and teenagers tend to gravitate towards certain people.
Throughout my time here at Uni, the class of 2021 has been ever changing in terms of groups of friends. People have grown apart and grown closer with others, from which I am no exception.
However, even through our struggles to integrate as a class, the friend groups have largely never reached a point of degrading others and turning the social environment toxic. It has been more of a social awkwardness between certain parts of our class, which has vastly improved in a comparison from the beginning of freshman year. As a small class of 65 goes through year after year together, they tend to mingle beyond their comfort zones and get to know each other better.
So why aren’t cliques a problem at Uni?
Personally, most Uni students I know are usually obsessing over grades more than their social lives. As seen in some of the freshman letters, interclass competition is a major stress factor for most classes as that problem applies to the current class of sophomores as well. I have seen too many people comparing themselves to other people and competing to be the best of the best within their little groups to be occupied with “trivial” matters like blatantly excluding someone they don’t particularly like.
However, I do think interclass mingling could be improved.
Even though people tend to naturally come together as a class around junior or senior year, I think that people should value the gift of having a small class and try to get to know everyone because you only have five years with them.
Uni students tend to overlook the advantages of having a small class and although cliques are not significant problem at Uni, I think classes would have more of a positive environment by trying to step out of their comfort zones earlier, towards freshman and sophomore year. People should take advantage of the lack of cliques and try talking to people they don’t know.