by Vallari Arya ’25
Published Nov. 10th, 2022
A clique is a selective group of individuals with shared interests. Movies often portray cliques as groups that try to exclude others. For example, the movie Mean Girls, a fictional comedy, depicts one of the most iconic high school cliques: the Plastics. This clique had certain rules that the members had to follow, or else they would be removed from the group and ridiculed. Other cliques shown in this movie include the jocks or the band kids, who were also unwilling to be friends with anyone outside of their tight circle. The term “clique”, therefore, generally comes with negative connotations.
Many Montgomery students feel that cliques do exist in this school, but not to the extent shown in media. They explain how even though these type of cliques existed, they never felt any pressure or desire to be in a certain one. However, some also said that there are often negative stereotypes that follow cliques and can sway them away from joining an extracurricular that they want to do.
The exclusion frequently associated with cliques can often lead to bullying and make people who are excluded feel less important or worthy than the people in the clique they are trying to join. Additionally, some cliques in high school may come with certain ‘rules’ that prevent individuals from doing the things they want to out of fear of what others might think of them. This creates a toxic environment where students feel like they can’t be themselves.
Nonetheless, cliques are not always created with the intent to exclude others from their social circle. In Montgomery High School, the various ‘cliques’ are really much less like cliques than they are friend groups, spaces where people are able to experience a sense of belonging and feel comfortable being themselves.
One student from the volleyball ‘clique’, Neena Kumar ‘25, describes her community as a place where she “made some of [her] best friends.” As a freshman last year, she explains, these new friends made her experience much more enjoyable and allowed her to make friends with people from different grades.
Another student, Kaila Carter ‘25, who is a part of the choir ‘clique’, also said that her group “was a welcoming community and a place where you could create new friendships.”
All in all, though there will always be cliques that are unwelcoming, in Montgomery High School, there are, for the most part, few such negative environments.