Disco or preppy - what group are/were you in?

In Health magazine, actress Lauren Graham was asked how she’d describe her style: “I think it’s D.C. meets California. Growing up [in D.C.], I can remember a girl coming to me and saying, “Do you want to be preppy with me?” And I was like, “Yes.” Back then [in the 1980s], you were disco or preppy.”  
When I was in high school, your choices were:  socs (pronounced sosh-es), stoners, jocks/cheerleaders, the drama kids, and various types of nerds (debate nerds, computer club nerds, band nerds, mathletes, etc.).  

Other labels I’ve heard over the years: 
punks, neo-mods, goths, gangsters, skaters, emos, and scene kids.
I’ve also heard people say that they were “ghosts” in high school - fitting into no particular group, more or less floating through invisibly. And some people are able to belong to more than one group.  

My 15-year-old daughter says there are fewer groups than when I was in high school. She is also far less concerned with popularity than I was. 

If you are in high school, is the group you hang out with labelled?  Do you think this affects the way you’re treated by other students or teachers?  Can people cross from one group to the other?  Or do labels not really matter much?
Does what you see in books correspond with real life? For example, in my daughter's old school, the cheerleaders are not very popular, and she never felt books showing everyone sucking up to cheerleaders were accurate.  
If you are out of high school, was the group you hung out with then labeled? Did this affect the way you were treated by other students and teachers? Do you feel that your high school label affected your life once you graduated?





9 comments:

Nina B. said...

I was not really part of a specific group in high school, I pretty much hung out with anyone I like.

I posted something on my blog about your question and you might want to check it out: Did You Belong To Any Clique in High School?

Brush Up On Your Reading

jenniferpickrell said...

Finally, someone else who went to a school where cheerleaders weren't on the top of the pyramid!

I never really felt like there were strong cliques at my high school - a lot of us floated between groups.

Melissa Walker said...

Same here--cheerleaders weren't big at my school, but somehow (because of TV and movies, I think) I was still intimidated by those uniforms, even if the girls in them weren't at the top of the social pyramid. The smart kids who partied were at the top of our chain. I was smart, but did very little partying, so I was like a smart-leader kid, probably ranked around the mid-high range. There was a DEFINITE hierarchy though.

Ceilidh said...

We never really had cliques in the traditional sense at my high school (I'm Scottish so the system isn't quite the same) but people definitely had their own groups, they just weren't categorised in terms of jocks, goths, etc. I had a very small group of friends I stuck with and tended to have a reputation as a weird nerd (which still fits to this day apparently.) Mostly, and I think this is arguably universal for high schoolers, it was about survival!

Stasia said...

Hmm. Loved ABBA, so that's disco. Thought The Preppy Handbook was cool so, preppy. Wore lots of leg warmers and mascara with my headbands and wraparound skirts, and hung around with theatre people... Venture to say I was a nerdy ballerina.

kerrygans said...

I went to a small high school. My class only had 180 kids in it, so we pretty much all knew each other. Sure, there were groups of friends who always hung out together, but you just couldn't have the typical high school social stratification with such a small number of kids. There were too many times we had to work with each other and be social with each other in the course of our school day.

My group of friends wasn't the "in" crowd, for sure, but with a class of only 180, "out" wasn't that far away from "in!"

Elissa J. Hoole said...

Even though my graduating class was really small--fewer than 120 of us--my h.s. was pretty stereotypical in terms of cliques and pyramid-like social power structures. The "jocks" and the "preps" (which included the cheerleaders) were the popular kids, and the rest of us sort of found our own niche. I think it was much more of an issue in late elementary and middle school, though, as everyone was still struggling to get to the top. Once high school came around, we were more comfortable with our identities. I think my group was the weirdos, haha. (part theatre-geek, part artsy fartsy, part stoner crowd, I guess...)

Micol Ostow said...

Hmm...our school was so small, cliques weren't the way I'd seen on tv or in movies. I guess we were mostly preppy? This was suburban Jersey in the early 90's so there were a lot of nods to "grunge" in the form of Doc Martens.

Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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