It's no question that over the past several decades, schools ranging from middle school to even collegiate universities are dominated by dynasties of cliques. These cliques range from the theater kids, to band geeks, to computer nerds, to athletes (or jocks), to the “popular girls," and so on. Thanks to movies like Mean Girls and countless published personal stories regarding bullying, certain cliques are known to socially and emotionally destruct others. After reading several publicized stories and analyses of these cliques and the problems they have posed to teenagers, it seems that the most common solution is to eliminate cliques completely. Although this solution may stop the tears from streaming down high-schoolers faces as they eat their lunches in the bathroom stalls, or diminish several cases of depression and anxiety amongst young adults, this solution is very unrealistic. Therefore, it isn't a solution worth discussing or seeking out.

Cliques are inevitable. It is simply our human nature to form special bonds with a close-knit group of friends, whether that group consists of one or 12 people. We are all wired individually; we all have our own senses of humor, ways of thinking, ideas of friendship, etc. There is no way that we are able to form the same intimate friendships with every single person we meet as we do with our best friends, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Take, for example, the football team. They don't form their “clique" to intentionally hurt others or exclude; rather, the clique forms naturally due to every member's common passion for the sport of football, and not to mention the fact that they spend just about every single day together for practice and games anyways.

My sorority has over 140 girls, meaning that a very long spectrum of personalities exists amongst the chapter. And I'm going to be honest: I do not connect with all of them on the same level. I just don't form the same emotional, intimate bond of friendship with every single one of them as I do with my few closest friends in my sorority. However, I do have the same level of respect for every single member, and that is what is most important. If every single member of every single clique had an equal amount of respect for everyone in their clique as well as everyone else outside of their clique, then I believe that nearly all of the problems associated with cliques would surely drain from our society.

Bullying and social harassment don't stem from cliques themselves; instead, they rise from the actions associated with certain cliques, such as exclusion, hazing, stalking, bullying, etc. Most victims of bullying don't even desire to be part of the clique; they just want to be left alone and/or receive the respect they deserve. So, instead of fostering or generation to remove cliques from our society, it might be more effective and realistic to foster the importance of the distribution of equal respect amongst young adults. Everyone, no matter what their interests or reputations are, deserves the same amount of respect that you give your closest friend. And that equal level of respect is what will evaporate the tension, competition and hate that exists amongst our generation's teens.