How do Cliques Impact the Lives of Teens?

Hailee is a 16-year-old student from Pittsgrove, NJ. She enjoys music, going to concerts, and writing. She hopes to major in Marketing (e.Business and Interactive Media) in college.

To teens cliques are almost a safety net; they think that they’ll always have a place where they “belong”, or “fit in”. But when does that “fitting in” or “belonging” actually cause more harm then good? Being in a clique could seem like a lot of fun, but it could also hold you back from a lot of other opportunities.

Teens, being in a clique is like having a label taped to your forehead, that’s what people know you as. But who wants to be labeled? Who wants one word to define who they are, and what they can give? Not me. This is where cliques can start holding you back.

Some say cliques are unavoidable, and are just a part of life. But I believe they can be avoided, I am a junior in high school and I do not, nor have I ever belonged to a certain clique. I find the best way to go through school; even just daily life is to have an open mind to new people. Who knows, maybe the person your clique doesn’t talk to could in reality be your best friend? But you probably wouldn’t get the chance to know that or not if you had a set clique holding you back.

Teens, being in a clique limits you to finding new friends and new people. If you are in a clique and just strictly hang out with those people, you could be missing out on so many things. Teens who aren’t involved in cliques are usually much more outgoing and involved in things because they don’t have anything, such as a label holding them back. They’re free to make their own choices, make different types of friends and possibly get new experiences. I mean who wants a bunch of friends that are just like you? The best friendships aren’t based just on similarities, but also the differences. It makes the friendships grow stronger by opening yourself to new things that you might not have tried before.

Parents, Cliques are not necessarily a bad thing, so don’t get immediately worried about your teen if they are involved in a clique. The clique that they are involved in may give your teen a sense of belonging, and that’s always a positive feeling. But, if your teen gets to the point where the clique that they belong to is the only people your teen associates with, this might be the time to step in. Cliques should be acceptable, as long as it’s not limiting your teen from other opportunities in their daily life; such as, making new friends or trying new things. You can do this by encouraging your teen to find something that they really love to do, even if the people in their clique do not. This way your teen could reach out to new things in this thing that they love to do, and be open to new people that they may meet.

So whether you’re involved in a clique or not, the best way to live each day is with a open mind. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or talk to someone you wouldn’t normally talk to.

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One Response to “How do Cliques Impact the Lives of Teens?”

  1. Melinda
    January 19, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Great article. Cliques are exclusive and do not allow for spontaneous and expansive experiences. They are always driven by a “leader” which may not appear to be very clear in the beginning; and there are followers. Cliques teach what it is like to live in an exclusive way and that they infringe on freedom, providing the opportunity for people to see that an inclusive mentality offers more opportunity for personal freedom. Cliques are grounded in fear. This fear stems from insecurity and a deep desire to “belong”. Cliques stick like glue sometimes because the insecurity and fear is a shared feeling and resonates with the group. Sometimes cliques can transform to people supporting each other without rigidly excluding other possibilities. It’s all a learning curve and each experience provides the opportunity to decide for yourself how you want to create your life.

    Melinda Asztalos

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