High school cliques are always a prominent part of the high school experience, especially for girls. These cliques however play more of a role in your overall personal life than you think. Not only do cliques define your high school experience but even the few years after high school as well and in some cases, they can end up defining your whole life. Here are my thoughts on cliques.

First of all, I will be the first to admit that I was a fairly “popular” girl in high school and definitely was a part of that general clique of cool kids. We would always hang out before and after school at the same bench on campus, and would make plans to hang out just about every weekend. However, after I’ve graduated from high school and have spent some years out in the real world, I realized first of all that that general group of popular kids that I hang out with are not a true “clique”, simply by virtue of being too many people. Yes we were all part of the popular crowd, but when maybe one fifth of the school was considered relatively popular, that is not really a clique.

I started to realize particularly during my senior year of high school that there was a particular group of about 6 or 7 people that I would always hang out with amongst the rest of the popular kids. For example, I was so much more likely to go to a party if a large chunk of those people were going as well, and when there were some more intimate get-togethers, it was almost always with that same small group of girls (and one gay guy). That was really my “clique”.

And the reality was that although there can and most likely always will be a large group of friends that you have throughout your high school, a lot of times your interests amongst all of you vary. And it is only when these particular interests align for a small subset of these people that it truly becomes a clique. For example being a band geek or an orch dork is a perfect example of actual interests creating a clique. And in these examples, I am not just talking about people who are part of band or orchestra, but those who actually are obsessed with it and believe that it is a big part of their lives. When there is that level of commitment or obsession or whatever you want to call it, that is really when true bonds are formed. And although a lot of times the reason for closeness of people within your clique is not as evident as my previous examples, there is always some reason that you are so close and form a clique. That much I am certain.

And when you have that sort of closeness in that inner circle of friends, especially when the bond you have is not fake in any way, shape or form, you form a connection that lifts you up and supports you during times of need. Most people agree that their friends are they reason that they survived high school and that is not an exaggeration. They help you study late at night, help you when a boy breaks your heart and are there for you for any other reason, big or small. But that is just the start to the support that they provide. Because even after high school and people go their separate ways, friendships from a clique generally persist at least for a few years afterwards. And even if you are miles apart, you can still find solace in the fact that people are there to lift you up and give you the support you need to succeed, no matter far apart you guys may have moved physically.

Now cliques do come with some drama such as potential gossip not just between other cliques at your high school, but even within cliques from time to time, all of which can lead to confrontation more often than not. But in the grand scheme of things, this is just a part of high school and regardless of what sort of clique you are in (or even if you happen to be one of the few people who don’t fall into any particular clique), stuff like this is inevitable. What is more important is to remember the value that cliques have for moving forward in your life. They help create strong friendships that not only help you get through your high school years, but may even help you get through tough times in the years that follow. If you are lucky, you may even end up with friendships that last a lifetime. And that is why cliques should not be looked down upon, but rather embraced, if not outright encouraged.