That doesn’t ‘clique’ with me


Many Mercy girls oppose the idea of cliques and try to socialize with various students. (Photo illustration: Bridgette Conniff)

Squad. BFFs. My peeps. Fam. These are words you might hear when you see a group of high school girls huddling for a selfie. But not all high school girls fancy this clique lifestyle.

Ever since I was young, I have been exposed to different types of cliques. Throughout grade school, I remember my classmates forming their own special clubs for which you had to do a certain thing or own a certain item. One club in particular that I remember was The French Fry Club. The requirement to join was that you had to have a box of McDonald’s fries. While I look back at memories like this and laugh, I didn’t realize that I would see cliques like these continue to form throughout my whole life.

Of course, like most people, I have a few friends at school who I would probably consider to be my closest friends. However, that does not mean they are only people I’ll go grab dinner with on the weekend, share a bucket of popcorn with as we laugh over the newest comedy flick, or pick as my partners for my final project in English class. I feel like far too often, I see people who are not willing to branch out beyond a few, select people. I cannot help but wonder why some people are so closed-minded about the people they associate themselves with and honestly, I fear for their future.

As a senior, I will be heading off to college next year. I am unsure of whether I’m staying close to home or attending school out-of-state. Either way, I know I will be encountering so many different people, and that it’s important to be open-minded to new people, new faces, and new ideas. Even beyond college, in a job, it is vital to learn how to function and cooperate with other people without your “BFF” glued to your hip. It is crucial that one uses the time in high school to get warmed up to this idea of making new friends or working with different people. It is a time where you should learn to be willing to break out of your shell, and go out of your comfort zone.

I attended a grade school where there were about 40 people in my graduating class. Going to a high school where I now have over 200 classmates was a huge jump for me. Although the thought of straying beyond my old friends originally terrified me, I soon changed my mind. I saw the amazing people in the Mercy community, branched out, and made many new, diverse friends that I am so thankful for.

I am also very thankful that I chose to attend Mercy because I feel like the community here is united like no other high school. Through retreats and extracurriculars, Mercy really strives to unite everyone. It’s a very special feeling to know that I have so many Mercy sisters who I can rely on, though the good times and the bad.

So utilize the tools Mercy offers and go beyond the idea of a “clique.” Join some clubs, a sports team, or take an English class that interests you (yes, actually interests you — not just because your best friends are taking it). Socialize with different people in the cafeteria and media center and make an effort to hang out with them on weekends. Make the most of your time in high school by maximizing your experiences; stray beyond your “normal.” Most importantly, interact with all the people in your grade. Trust me, they’re probably pretty awesome.