Our Nature | Teen Ink

Our Nature

September 25, 2007
By Anonymous

Kids cannot understand each-other. It is not in our nature. We desperately seek others like us, thriving on our similarities that we share and our opinions, not thinking that all those others may be just like us. It has happened all throughout history, but today, in high school this separation through misunderstanding has been given a new name, a name every high-schooler knows. Cliques.
If you are a high schooler reading this, chances are you are in a clique, but chances also are that this clique is not easily definable. It’s hardly ever as cut and dry as “Jock”, “Emo”, “Prep” or “Punk”, because people can’t be defined with three or four letter words. But still, we define each-other by our social groups, and how we dress despite the fact that the overwhelming majority knows that how they themselves dress doesn’t define who they are. Just everyone else. After all, which is easier; dealing with a person’s prejudice and convincing them to change, or marking them off with a label and making sure that your lives are separate?
What’s worse is that everyone is guilty of it at one time, to some degree. Me. You. Everyone. Often, it is not without reason that we act like this; someone calls you one thing or acts in some offensive way, and we start a prejudice. Like animals in the wild we learn to recognize the signs and avoid those people at once. It never occurs to you in that moment of extreme embarrassment, shame, or anger that that person says those things for a reason. We lose ourselves in our own emotions, and no-matter how we try, it is still there.
But still, even if some are convinced to act otherwise, many others do not change. Some have simply lost themselves, and no-matter how they want to care, they just can’t.
But into this equation comes a new problem.
So it all comes down to only two options; either comply with the social pressures and seek out those like ourselves, or change the public school system. Just think: Cliques come from the vast and impersonal school system where most other kids are complete strangers. We want to get to know people so we surround ourselves with friends and people like us to make a little group within a school. The only problem is that groups, by nature will exclude. Exclusions lead to emotional damage and damage leads to violence. So why not make the schools themselves smaller? It would help kids get to know their whole grade, nobody would be a stranger, and there would be a lot less cliques. It may cost more taxpayers money, and a lot of changing to the educational system, but if doing this saves one life, than we should do it regardless.

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