May 16, 2008
By Tim Kaye, Hartland, WI

Starting freshman year at Arrowhead High School you see many new faces and this is where the stereotyping and grouping begins. With 2,700 kids at Arrowhead and nearly 700 kids in the class of 2008, it is nearly impossible to know and be friends with everyone.

So how do you decide whom to get to know and become friends with?

You go to your classes and activities and you start to see the same people everyday so you become friends with these people. It is only natural that you become friends with the people that play the same sports as you, or people who are in the same level classes as you, or do the same after school activities. And so the stereotyping begins: jocks, nerds, and so forth. All classified and grouped by what they do.

Now that you have your group of friends, you look around the lunch room and see the other people sitting at the tables. The natural tendency is to want to know who these people are and what their interests are. But because you can’t know everyone personally, you start to say well this kid plays sports so you say he/ she is a jock, or this person is in chess club so you classify him/her as a nerd. It all starts with their interests and choices in activities.

As you start to hang out with these friends, you go to school and hear things about other groups of kids and because that’s the only thing you hear and you don’t know them personally you assume there is some truth to it. At the same time, other groups of kids are doing the same thing to your group.

Then it is lunch time and you seek out and sit with your friends and it just so happens they all have the same interests. And so you get lunch tables full of jocks, nerds, stoners or anything. So when you look at lunch from an outside perspective, you get the idea that Arrowhead is extremely cliquey, but it is only natural that you are going to sit with people you can talk to.

It is said that you can’t fit in with other groups, but that’s not because the groups are exclusive It is simply because if you don’t have the same interests you are not going to enjoy hanging out with those people and they wont enjoy hanging out with you.

As for rumors, people like to talk so if they hear something they will most likely go and tell someone what they heard and as more and more people pass the word along the truth gets obscured. It is human nature to do this.

Cliques and groups are an unavoidable part of high school life. This is just the way that humans interact with one another especially in cases where you can’t know everyone personally. Whether right or wrong, it is going to happen so you just have to make the best of it and understand where it comes from.

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