Life's Like That: College clique's - not exactly what you're thinking

Entering college for the first time or returning for another school year is normally a time of excitement. It is a time to rekindle relationships with peers and a chance to develop new friendships. For many this is the case, though there are many that from time to time feel the wrath of what I like to call “college cliquing.” It is natural for people to gravitate to others based on similar social interests, goals and programs, that help to develop a comfortable peer bubble, with a tendency to form relationships, within its safe context. However what is not acceptable to me is my new self-coined term “college cliquing.”

Allow me to define “college cliquing.” “College cliquing” is when groups regardless of how they are formed, whether they are sports teams, programs of study, peer groups from back home, or roommates, begin to isolate, discriminate, taunt, tease and talk about other people, as individuals or groups. I find the worst offenders of “college cliquing” to be those in the same program or classroom. I am not writing about any specific people, program or classroom setting. I am expressing an opinion on an issue that everyone knows exists, but tends to ignore.

rumour spreading

If college is supposed to be filled with socially accepting people, mature adults, and opportunities for social bonds, than where does the problem lie? The problem lies with the false ideas and optimism that students expect to be met when entering college. These needs tend to range from social, emotional and physical. The list is endless when we believe, hope for and strive to achieve when evaluating college. When these things do not happen, or occur on a smaller scale than hoped it is not something we want to admit. It is my feeling this is one of the reasons we as people isolate, or engage in “college cliquing” behaviour.

If I could send a message for everyone to consider it would be as follows: You do not have to like everyone. What I do feel we need to start doing, is respecting each other. Young children are taught about anti-bullying, and we as a society are taught to respect differences but it seems that as we get older those lessons become lost.

I find it endlessly amusing to hear people downgrading others or starting drama then suddenly see or hear them feeling empathic for a person of similar circumstance. A primary example would be person B makes fun of a girl's tight clothes and short pants, but when they see another girl in that same situation but in a different setting, they feel bad for that person and defend them.

Bottom line it's about respect. We are responsible for the image we portray. Do not allow yourself to be viewed as a mean, vindictive or a gossiping person. Stand up for yourself and have the backbone to speak up when you see people doing or saying mean things to others or behind their backs. The next time you catch yourself speaking badly or doing something in bad taste what you need to do is invest in some self-reflection time, no matter how minor or senseless your act or comment may be. If you see yourself doing these things, something in your social conscience or self esteem is missing. STOP focusing on others problems and flaws because if you are one of the habitual “college cliquers” then BELIEVE ME you have enough problems and self-issues to deal with.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.