Operation: Unclique The Cliques

My high school’s 10 year reunion is in two weeks and I am pretty hesitant on whether or not I want to attend. I did not attend my high school’s five year reunion for a few reasons, mainly because I was out of town. But also because I thought a five year reunion would be pointless. For four of those five years, most of us were in college. And we had access to social media such as Facebook, so we pretty much already knew much about whomever we cared to know about then. But now, more time has passed and it’s been an entire decade since many of us have seen each other in person.

But is there a point to it all? I don’t know about you, but my high school was pretty clique-y. Some may try to deny this, but most will agree. There were defined groups of friends, largely based on our interests: theatre folk, computer-nerdy kids, music geeks, the alt-punk-outcasts, and lest we not forget the ever popular group of jocks and their inner circle of cheerleader types. There were more cliques than I can recall. Sometimes however, the cliques co-mingled. Frequently, the music kids merged with the theatre kids; the theatre kids, with the techie kids; Or on the rare and unlikely occasion, even the jocks would merge with the music kids. (“High School Musical”, anyone?) And don’t get me wrong- I too, will admit to having been in whatever clique(s) I was associated with in high school. Everyone was in a clique- whether they knew it or not. I could insert any number of pop culture references here to illustrate my point: movies like, “The Breakfast Club”, “Mean Girls”, and the television show, “Freaks and Geeks” immediately come to mind as prime examples.

For the most part, these cliques remained untouched, unscathed throughout the years. But it’s a decade later and those cliques are still pretty much the same that they were back in our high school days of yore. And I think that’s pretty dumb. There’s no point to cliques. We have already created our niche of friends, and we have (or should have) learned by now, that branching out to others we might not usually include, really isn’t so terrible. By now, there really shouldn’t be any cliques. None of them; no groups.

However, I’m fairly certain that this high school reunion will reveal that unfortunately some traditions never die, and that unless forced to, many people won’t talk to those outside their comfort zone. That’s where I come in. I have come up with the idea to “Unclique the Cliques.” I want to break apart all those dumb cliques that have stayed together for this long. This is not to say that I aim to break up friendships- just to break up unnecessary borders.

You might be asking yourself how I plan to do this. It’s actually quite simple. I plan to talk to all those people whom I would have never talked to on my own, back in high school. This is going to be especially challenging, as I am very shy. (So, some “performance-enabling inebriation” might be in order. I realize this factor could have some effect on the outcome of this social experiemnt, but I am willing to accept the difference in data and the outcome.) I just plan to manage an acceptable conversation with these such outsiders. Honestly, this “feat” shouldn’t have to be so extraordinary. And ideally, perhaps others will join in on my movement. That, would be the ultimate success in my plan.

More details will come as the reunion nears. I want this to be as true and real to my goal, also accepting the perameters and limitations that I’m sure will present themselves. It is definitely one thing to announce a game plan for such a milestone event. It’s another, to actually put forth an effort to follow this all through. I imagine this will most definitely be easier said than done, but really, what do I/we all have to lose? Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for more details about how I establish this “plan of attack.” This should be interesting.

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