For today’s topic, I really want to hear from our teen readers. Because I’m curious whether high school hierarchies still exist.
Many YA books include in their plots the idea that most schools have an “in” crowd. But lately, I’ve been seeing discussions that this might not necessarily be so.
This intrigues me!
On the one hand, I totally relate with the person who said, “Anybody who tells you their school doesn’t have a popular crowd is a member of the popular crowd.” I can even tell, looking at my daughter’s grade schoolmates, who’s probably “in” and who’s maybe on the fringes. The whole “Heathers” hierarchy was so ingrained in the pop culture of my youth that it’s hard to imagine it’s gone. (If you haven’t heard of “Heathers” and you want to be introduced to a teen classic -- plus get a bonus look at 80s fashion – you can check it out here. If you're sensitive to swearing and crude stuff, though, be warned. This movie is snarky and salty and I don’t have “bleep” powers over YouTube.)
But then I look at the way hierarchies seem to have broken down since I was in high school. Certainly, racial and other social barriers continue to dissolve. And it seems like the people who would have been called geeks when I was 16 are now just as likely to be the cool kids.
The truth is, even when I was in high school, the cheerleaders weren’t automatically bitches and the athletes weren’t dumb bullies by default. By the time I was a senior, our “in” crowd included some of the nicest, coolest people you could ever meet. They were popular because they deserved to be. And if you asked them, they probably would have insisted, very genuinely, that there weren’t any in crowds at all at our school.
But those who weren’t so “in” might still have begged to differ.
So I want to know: what are high school hierarchies like today? Do they still exist? Teens, tell us about the social structure at your school!