*Sorry I’ve been behind on posting, still getting used to the college life! Hope this’ll make up for the wait*

I’ve been at college for a little over a week now. And while many things make it great and wonderful, etc., I’ve noticed there is something missing that can contribute to the easy-to-breath environment and relaxation. There isn’t that strong air of separation between groups, no “one group of friends” sections, no people known on campus as “those girls” or classified into other categories.

There are no cliques. And it rocks.

Well, okay, maybe they exist in a small way, shape, or form, but they’re easy to ignore and avoid. Nonetheless, it makes going to classes or going out to eat way less structured, allows you to make many friends, and to not feel pressured to be with the same people over and over again. And now that I’ve seen this environment, though in a short amount of time, I continue to fail to understand the point of cliques.

Yes, they happen so that people can be included. So friends are made easier and social lives are more organized. To belong to something that has worth. But to be honest, their prevalence in high school, and especially junior high, only made socializing harder. You had to be someone else to be accepted. You could make friends with someone in class, but never see them outside of school because they were always with their “group”. The would only be with their group for social outings, because being seen with others could ruin their “friendships”.

I admit, I did have a go-to group in high school. But we weren’t a clique. We had plenty of different friends, did many activities sans each other, but we were still really close. If we saw each other when out with other friends, we said hello, probably made small talk, and continued on. But there are plenty of people I talked to everyday in high school that would ignore my existence on the street because they were with their group. And that’s ridiculous.

No one should feel like they have to act a certain way or become some one else to keep their friends. If that’s necessary, then the people you spend time with really aren’t your friends. Friends should want the best for you, but they definitely shouldn’t want you to change who you are to fit their quota.

Everyone wants to be a part of something. They want to be included and not feel alone in this big, wide world. But being in cliques is not a healthy way to promote acceptance and friendship. Everyone should be able to be themselves, spend time with whichever friends they want, regardless of what others think. There should not be a status quo that has to be filled.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”-Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss)