Flashback 5: High School Cliques

When we think of high-school cliques, most of the time we think of nerds and popular kids, like Freaks & Geeks or Glee. Well, when you come from a majority Latino high school, those dynamics change a little bit. In my high-school days, cliques expanded far beyond the scope of nerds and popular kids. The following is a list of the top 5 cliques I remember and had an effect on me.

1. The Gangbangers
One clique is of course the gangbangers, who sort of were a form of the popular kids. I remember all the girls wanted to be with the thug guy with the bald head and cliché facial hair. Guys like me didn’t stand a chance. In the end we all know how people like that end up. Even today I still deal with people like that when I go to bars.

2. Popular Kids
Then there were the other popular kids that actually resembled those seen on TV. These were the tall white kids who dressed in Abercrombie & Fitch and really stuck amongst their own. Actually without the gangbangers, they would normally run a school. In my school, the jocks were actually not a big deal since all our sports teams sucked and no one cared. Call it poetic justice for all the geeks.

3. The Goths
Of course how could I forget the Goth kids? Nowadays high schools have the Emo kids. During my days we had to deal with the all-black drenched Goths who quite frankly weren’t as annoying as the Emo kids. I found many of my friends falling into the Goth crowd and becoming lost in their ways.

4. Artsy Crowd
The clique that really got on a lot of people’s nerves in my school days was the art/ drama club crowd. Basically these were the kids that would eventually go on to do their thing at Columbia College Chicago, much like myself. These kids would wander the halls with huge disco balls tied to their key chains. These people wore odd clothes from the Salvation Army by choice not because of being broke. Ah, the joy of being bizarre and strange for the sake of it. Needless to say I fit this crowd.

5. Hip Hop Heads
Another crowd I was apart of was of course the Hip Hop crowd. This involved kids who liked to emcee, break-dance, and tag. I Emceed and tried to break-dance for a bit. My skills in breaking were limited. This crowd ultimately was many Latinos’ second option to the gangster crowd.

In all reality I was a nerdy kid myself. I just tried to hide it by wearing nice clothes and fitting in better. I was the type to have a beer at a daytime party and do some keg stands. I was also the type to debate who would win in the theoretical battle between Goku and Superman or Onslaught vs Galactus. I was a nerd in disguise. At the end of the day one there was one common thing that drove all these different cliques. Music. Our self-image directly correlated to the music we listened to. It drove our personalities and was the soundtrack of our days. I’m sure things haven’t changed all that much. Except we never had ridiculous acts such as Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane. I can only image what the high school fans of them look like. Music has defined generations, eras, and our youth. Maybe in ten years when music trends have totally changed all the cliques I’ve mentioned will be things of the past.

Which were you In?

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