Friday, 16 October 2015

Groups


The girls in my grade are sorted into various groups that we reside in every lunch time.  I don't know how it happened, how it unspokenly became completely natural to talk about 'who you sit with' or about a group of people as a collective.  It's so socially expected that when people sit with another group you hear remarks like, "are you intruding us today?" or "Thank you for letting me sit here." or "Are we combining the groups today?" and when a few people sit elsewhere it's an actual issue.  In fact, even the shape of the circle you sit in is analysed, or who talks to who, or who wants to be seen with who.

As a person who doesn't like change, after the initial getting-to-know-people period in year 7, I tried my hardest to keep my group the same.  Through changing friendships and priorities and people who were hard to let go of, this group grew bigger and bigger, until finally, just recently, it split into three - and thank god for that because this group had become one uncomfortable lunch time after the next.

But here's the issue: I still don't look forward to lunch time as most people should.  I feel like there's only one person in the group who matters, and when I'm not sure if she'll be at the group when I get there, I delay my arrival.  I'll sit with another group, recruit someone to come to various different places with me, and eventually, when I feel like I'm deferring too far from the status quo and I can't take it anymore, I finally go to the group.  It's this feeling of worrying co-dependency, only I'm the only one in the co-dependency feeling it, and that makes me feel utterly lonely.

It's not that I don't know the rest of the group.  I'm certainly friends with at least half of them.  I just don't understand why we have these set places when sometimes you can't talk to the same people every day.  I don't feel that groupy feeling where we schedule whole group outings or group parties or know each other for all our little quirks.  I don't feel like we're a secret club and I still feel uncomfortable, especially now that there seems to be less people to talk to.

I certainly don't have that group pride where I talk about how friendly my group is, or how close, or how we act at lunch, because the truth is, lunch is so disconnected.  I don't talk to half of them.  The entire thing is just a routine, and maybe they're a group, but I don't seem to be part of it.

I reckon my real group is spread out in various different groups.  We may be together outside school, and sit together in class, but every lunch time we all go back to our respective places.  In an ideal school maybe I'd be sitting with different members of this hypothetical group every day, and they'd be sitting with different members of their own hypothetical group.  School would be a little like real life, where you make time for your friends in the same way you schedule brunches in a cafe every now and then to talk about life.

Someone the other day told me about how next year there will be an influx of new people.  In the same way, many people are now talking of moving away.  So maybe the groups will change then.  Or maybe, if I'm not happy, I should change it around myself.  Maybe everything will end up changing to the way it should be, or maybe it won't.

In some ways, I reckon my ideology could be made true for myself, even if the people around me aren't following it.  But also in some ways, knowing where you belong is nice, even if you don't belong.  Having somewhere socially acceptable to sit routinely is nice, even it it's not right.  Maybe I should view lunch as another class, where I sit with these set people.  It's only another hour after all.  We don't go to school to have fun anyway.

We can save our picnics for the holidays.

Love,
M

20 comments:

  1. This post reminded me of when I was in school. It was during break hours and I was good friends with people from more than one group. Although majority of the times I sat with my own group even though I had friends belonging to others I tried to make sure that sometimes I even sat with them. It was nice having a change once in a while.

    -Kathie K
    A Sea Change

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    1. It's nice having a change, but I wonder why we have these groups in the first place. Shouldn't this change be constant, proportional to how much you enjoy their company? I rarely ever sit with a different group for an entire lunch, but that doesn't mean I can't see these people outside that one hour of meeting the status quo.

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  2. This makes me glad, I was homeschooled.

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    1. Sometimes homeschooling sounds so much less complicated

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  3. Yeah...I feel like this is happening in my school too. Everyone just seems to be hanging out with different people...It's just a little odd...But I'm only in Year 8, so I guess that happens in most schools.

    Rukiya XX

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    1. I love how everyone hangs out with different people! I think we should hang out with more different people! I guess groups are good in the way that they should be made up of your closest friends, and I guess most of my closest friends are in my group, but that doesn't mean everybody in my group is my friend either, and I don't particularly enjoy lunch times either. It's not odd, embrace it.

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  4. Cliques are such a prevalent thing in schools, I think it's great to have multiple groups and co-dependence is something I definitely see too. Just remember these people and these groups won't matter in life in the long run! Great post :)

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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    1. I don't want all these friendships to be for nothing though. I hope that the people will still matter in the long run, even when the set seated lunches cease to exist. Who you're friends with and who you sit with are only so connected, because it's so much more complicated than that.

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  5. This sounds so familiar!
    When I was in high school I wasn't happy with my group at all, but switching was almost impossible. Once the groups are there, there's almost no way to get into a new one or break away from the old one. In the end I tried switching, but it took me months before I was really comfortable in that group.
    I'm glad to be in college now. There still are groups, but everyone talks to everyone whenever they want and meeting new people is much easier now :)

    x Envy
    Lost in Translation

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    1. It's difficult to change the groups, but it really is just a matter of sitting elsewhere in routine, and if you're already friends with them it wouldn't be too hard to fit in anywhere. The only issue is the fact that your friends are spread in so many different groups, including your own, and sometimes the invariability every lunch time is what makes these groups so unenjoyable. I can't imagine this group system happening in uni on this extreme scale.

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  6. I feel that it is a social statement to choose who you sit with, or what group you are 'accepted by'. And sometimes that is very annoying...

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    1. It most definitely is a social statement, but the question is whether you should care more about the statement you're making or the people you're with.

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  7. I know what your saying i just started secondary school and already we have split up into groups however our groups aren't as solid yet as we still have new people to meet however this just shows how people feel the need to "belong."

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    1. I don't know if it's about needing to belong or just simply routine. And as Ms H just said before, I guess it's also about social statements and it's funny how we can describe them as 'not as solid' as if they ever should be solid. In your case, they're already more solid than the ideology, which is completely liquid, figuratively.

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  8. Groupism happens everywhere, M.
    It's a natural tendency to gravitate towards those whose 'demons gel well with ours'. It's sad, but it's true. :/
    But ah well. Let's pledge to stop groupism from happening!
    Stay awesome as ever,
    Much love,
    Archie <3
    http://eeriefairy.blogspot.com

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    1. But maybe it's great to belong to many groups, because sometimes your demons gel well with more than one kind of person, and sometimes their demons don't gel well with others you also gel well with. So are there really any groups?

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  9. I hated this in secondary school. I've always got along with everybody in year 7. I was a super weird kid, I was always smiling and hyper, and I always gave the girls at my school (I went to a girls school for most of my school years) a huge good morning everyday and a hug. Everybody was happy in the first two or three months of year 7, until this kind of thing started to happen. Ergh. Going to a girl's secondary school can have a extra bitchy vibe, let me tell you. The thing is, which is really hard and I get your point, is that sometimes you just are not able to leave your group. Even if you like them and just want to talk to a few different people, I know when I was in school, sitting outside your group for lunch without "asking for permission" from your group or the other, was practically war. But, unfortunately, I do have to agree with Archie there. Groupism happens everywhere. It just happens that it is a little worst in secondary school. However, after you start to work in a company you will realize how frustrating it is, that adults that are supposed to be mature, can and they do mostly have the same attitudes as they did in secondary school. It's really sad, but I guess all we can do is try not to fit in any groups. Be the person who is free out of those links of people, and just surround ourselves with people who are kind and brings positivity to our lives! Good luck with this hun, and sorry for the huge ramble!

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    1. I go to an all girls' secondary school too, but I still feel like groups happen in every high school, not that I've experienced anywhere else. It's just so socially acceptable and pathetic that we act in this way, but at the same time maybe it's for the better? I like your philosophy, but in some ways I also hate being different. Doing something out of the ordinary can be such an effort to explain sometimes, but having things my way could also be worth it. I guess you have your different groups in your different places, but you don't always need to be defined by them, and you need to realise that you're open to people outside them.

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  10. That actually really doesn't sound fun at all. I used to be under the illusion that my school doesn't have groups - and it doesn't not really. We usually spill over three tables when it comes to my year and we do rotate, as in you'll get different people sitting with different people some days. But the groups that usually happen are focused on friends so you end up friends with those you are sitting with. But it's a shame that you aren't even with some people that you actually lie all the time... I wouldn't know how to reside an issue like this.

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    1. I make it seem like these groups are set in stone, but the amount of lunch times and breaks I spend talking to other people is actually quite abundant, and moving around is also something I can use as an option. The only issue is when the people you're friends with aren't friends with some of your other friends, so they won't join you - and reputations are also an issue. But it isn't too bad. And having groups have their advantages. Just remember that you're never defined by your group, and you're not obliged to be there unless for the sake of routine.

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