I did not subscribe to highschool cliques when I was a student.
I avoided the typical nerds, because the typical nerd is one-dimensional, spiteful, and a socially-awkward loser. I avoided the “mean girls”, because I hated anyone who collected an army of fans with weaker personalities (or less money).
Fortunately, my best friend Nisreen also happened to be my classmate all throughout highschool. We navigated the journey to adulthood shunning the conventional highschool roles. We were both always top of our class, and yet you could never describe us as nerds because we both had listening problems and were never really “there” (I later realized that this is was the result of a reading-writing learning preference, and an absolute inability to comprehend auditory information, which unfortunately is the most common method of teaching).
We were just ourselves. Life was comfortable. We graduated and started real life, and stayed comfortable in our own skin.
You know though, when you’re a kid, you assume that these highschool cliques and roles disappear as you grow older… that people sort of “level up”. That’s what adulthood seems like, and that’s what you’re made to believe by the adults around you.
But its been 11 years since I finished highschool, and every day, I realize how highschool never really ends. The cliques are still there, and the kids who were losers grew up into adults who are losers. They married other losers and befriended other losers. The “mean girls” still collect a museum of drooling fans willing to do their bidding, buy them drinks, and carry their stuff.
It is so strange.