For some reason, during senior year everyone got hit by a brick of maturity. Slowly people became less attached to their cliques or their social groups, and started mingling and interacting with anyone, no matter their socially constructed “group affiliation”. By the time prom hit, people who had never interacted before were each others dates, had created new friend groups, and started being more inclusive than ever. And it was great.
I don’t know if it was because people realized it was superficial, or if they were fed up with drama, but for me it was because I was finally confident enough to branch out.
I think it has something to do with everyone realizing they are going to college and everyone knows things will be different and those high school cliques would become obsolete in a brand new school, so why not just be nice to everyone? Second semester senior year, I even noticed myself becoming friends with people I never even knew and reconnecting with friends I hadn’t seen or spoken to since sophomore year. The things that mattered throughout those previous 3 1/2 years suddenly didn’t matter anymore and everyone began to come together and respecting each other and it was a beautiful thing.
It makes you wonder why people weren’t this accepting from the very start. Some kids spend all of high school worrying about popularity, who they’re friends with or having the “perfect” social life. And it’s sad that it takes until the last year of the most formative time of your life to realize that popularity and social groups are breakable and fluid, that no matter how “popular” someone is, they are still just another teenage classmate.
So life lesson when you go to high school: be nice to everyone, be inclusive, don’t make dumb decisions just because your friends are doing that. Be your own person even if you don’t know who that is yet.