I Hated Cliques, Until I Was In One — And Getting Kicked Out Was The Best Thing That Happened To Me

I Hated Cliques, Until I Was In One — And Getting Kicked Out Was The Best Thing That Happened To Me

Who had I become? A totally vain, totally codependent bitch.
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As a 12-year-old girl, I learned the term “clique.”

This term manifested itself as the four girls in my 32-person sixth-grade class, who were the self-proclaimed “most popular” girls in our grade. The sad thing is that, due to their better-than-thou attitude and matching Juicy Couture velour hoodies, we believed they were actually better than all of us. More popular. Prettier. Funnier. Better liked.

For further clarification, even a basic definition of “clique” goes as follows: “A small close-knit group of people who do not readily allow others to join them.”

“Who do not readily allow others to join them.”

This chunk of the definition is wherein the crime of the clique lies: the exclusivity. The fact of the matter is that while being in a clique makes you feel powerful and valuable for those who don’t get the invitation, it sucks.

I remember my tween-self feeling so utterly sub-par, simply due to my lack of friendship with these other just-as-awkward tween girls. It’s ridiculous really, but it’s human nature to want to feel part of something greater, and jealousy is inevitable.

Promising myself I would never fall fate to the forbidden clique, I entered high school and found myself at the center of one. A member of a clique. A slap in the face to my former, unpopular self, if I’ve ever seen one.

But let me tell you, it felt great. I finally understood where these girls were getting their haughtiness from, it really was, like, tooootally empowering. I always had a group, a cluster of people to sit with who, not surprisingly, shared all my same sentiments. Slumber parties every weekend and we were, obviously, a package deal.

Who had I become? A totally vain, totally codependent bitch.

It bit me in the ass more times than I’d like to admit, friends turning on me at the drop of a hat, kicking me out of the group, having to start from square one, and vice versa.

Not much time passed before the wake-up call I needed: my dearest, clearly "most loyal," friends dumped me like an overread Seventeen Magazine. With the snap of their fingers, the blink of an eye.

My exile was arguably one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Some petty Instagram captions and a few stabs in the back later, the dust had finally settled and I was left, I would soon find, with the actual best friends I could ever ask for. Sappy, I know.

It came slowly at first, but I realized that not being in a clique actually gave me a much larger group of friends and added some diversity to my life. One of my best friends was on speech and debate, the other was on the soccer team with me, another was a year below me, one who was a year above me played volleyball; you get the picture.

Once again promising myself I would never fall fate to the forbidden clique, I entered college, but this time I actually succeeded.

I have my best friends, I have my acquaintances, yet I couldn’t list a specific group of people I would dub “my clique.” Some of my best friends barely know each other and it’s honestly great. My world is dynamic, I never feel stuck and never lack a new opportunity, simply because I chose to not placate myself with a narrow-minded group of people.

If you’re going to take anything from this article take this:

It’s totally fine to have a group of friends you love better than the rest. Yet, remember that it’s OK to have other friends, regardless of how far removed they are from the rest of your friends. Being cliquey is closing yourself off from a whole other world, and you’ll never know what you’ve been missing.

Cover Image Credit: Isabelle Roshko

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.

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From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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