The Paw Print

Cafeteria Cliques

Elise Sullivan, News Editor

Norwalk High School’s 10:40 a.m. bell rings; meaning it is time for the first of three lunch shifts of the day.

A field hockey player and her best friends head over to a table in the heart and center of the cafeteria, while a trumpet and saxophone player walk to their table near the side of the room. Take a look across the room, behind the big white columns. On this side, everyone else, including students who have special needs sitting in one corner quietly chatting to themselves while in another corner, there is someone eating their sandwich alone.

Every student must notice this. No one knows how this “seating chart” has been established. According to Longwood University’s newspaper, The Rotunda, “Cliques often form because people fall into a habit. Sometimes we do not mean to exclude people from our lives, we’re just afraid to talk to different people. So we limit ourselves to, at best, a couple dozen people and stop talking to everyone else after the first year.”

Students at NHS, as well as any other school, may want to sit at other tables, however they may have a fear of being excluded or do not sit there due to the fact that they have sat at their tables since freshman year of high school. That is all that they know.

American novelist, David Wallace, says in his speech, This is Water, “They are default-settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.”

It is the human’s natural instinct to follow a routine once they start it. However, this set routine can cause them to become unaware of the many types of people around them and what they can learn from each other.

In high school, students learn who they are and branch out to new people everyday. Students should not only focus on their group. There should not be established sections of the cafeteria.

In order for students to break out of these cliques and sections, they have to open their eyes to the other diverse students around them at NHS, who have many different personalities, backgrounds, and interests that they just might not be aware of yet.

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Cafeteria Cliques