The High School Hierarchy

Like pubescent butterflies emerging from the outgrown, claustrophobic confines of their middle school cocoon and all its banal inhabitants, young, incoming high schoolers face the daunting task of fitting in (or not). Among the myriad of varied people, a few encompassing classifications can be seen, though not always in sharp contrast to one another.

By knowing the different categories of students, one can find their ideal group of friends and like minded individuals. The Drama Queens Since the 80’s, movies have portrayed these girls as the most beautiful and glamorous girls on campus, perching on the gilded thrones of the social empire. The ones who look down their perfect noses at the rest of the students, the ones who scheme and exact petty revenge on their enemies, the cheerleaders and coveted girlfriends. In reality, most students are too busy being harried by stressful classes to notice them, but occasionally one can get a glimpse at this dying breed. If a rare fight between girls breaks out on campus (usually over an unfortunate boy), it is generally between two competing drama queens.

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In classes they’ll make supercilious remarks to targeted non-conformists, the biting words covered by a thin veneer of friendliness, and then turn around and say spiteful, nasty things of them to their inner circle of extremely privileged and so called “friends” (who in all eventuality will receive the same treatment later on as they are discarded from the inner circle to make way for new, rising elites). The sad spectacle of homecoming and prom “royalty” is their pinnacle achievement, and the ensnarement of well known jocks their ultimate prize. The Players Also sensationalized by the media, these kids are the cocky, star athletes that happen to also be attractive (mostly to the shallow minded and brainless).Swaggering around campus with an annoying arrogance, they imagine themselves the center of the universe and that girls should be beside themselves with joy if they receive even a cursory glance. Parties are graced with their presence, and their names are glorified at sporting events.

These boys slide by academically, focusing their ephemeral high school career on sports and athletic abilities. Later in their possibly unsuccessful life, as they sit on the customary couch with a cheap beer in one hand and the remote in the other, they might feel a small pang of regret over their short-sighted high school choices. Though the paradigm now shifts toward more normal and surprisingly intelligent specimens, vestiges of conceited self absorption and overconfidence can still be seen in this pseudo-upperclass. Outcasts Outcasts are easily identifiable. In their efforts to defy the norms and rebel against tradition, many of them adopt strange styles that draw the sneers of their more fashionable counterparts: brightly colored and unusually cut hair, clip on tails, anime inspired clothing.

They startle people in the hallways with bursts of screaming and shouting, leaving people shaking their heads and wondering why they must attract so much attention to themselves. Also as obvious are the extreme nerds, the kids (usually boys) that never cut their hair, wear clothes reminiscent of middle school and the days when clothes were picked by moms who were oblivious or had terrible fashion sense, and express an eager interest in and extensive knowledge of boring subjects. Students who share classes with them will cringe at their excited questions, and narrow their eyes at the vainglorious few who amazingly lecture the teachers on their own subjects. Passing by a group of them one can hear heated discussions about Pokemon- debates like whether Arceus or Mewtwo is the strongest of all- or find a group of them playing Magic the Gathering during free time in class. These are the kids that most use to define the artistically inclined, though not all artistic students are like this. The one bizarre theatre kid that constantly blurted out embarrassing things reinforced the preconceptions of their strangeness; the overly enthusiastic group of band kids turned off other students to an apparent musical cult.

Future Dropouts The population of this sect varies with region, though their attributes remain the same. They are the kids who pull their hoods down and sleep through class, the ones who always enter late with a mumbled excuse or are inconspicuously absent. Other students will snicker at them when they realize that there’s a test that day, or sigh in impatience when assigned to work in groups with them. These are the drug addicts, the pot smokers; their next trip is a relief from the depressing reality of life. These are the kids who hardly care what happens next and are just itching for school to be over. Among their numbers are also the girls of questionable character, who everyone has heard in conjunction with a particular rumor.

These girls are mainly preoccupied with attracting boys, and dress and act accordingly. They constantly push the limits of the mythical dress code, and wear excessive, almost garish make up. Education is of little importance to them, unfortunately for the gene pool. Likewise, their male counterparts, the self stylized “gangsters,” elicit many an eye roll with their ludicrous ‘saggy’ pants. The most intrusive they become to normal people is in the parking lot, where they blast vulgar rap so loud that it shakes their cars and makes their ears bleed, or so onlookers imagine, as they pass by wondering where the “cool” factor lies in this absurdity. Teachers frown impatiently at these students, and their efforts to educate them often times feel as futile as trying to swim against raging currents.

They are a source of amusement for the rest of the school; their fights are fascinating to watch, their little dramas are as riveting to watch as bad soap operas, and their trivial concerns are instinctively ridiculed. Avoided by and looked down upon by the more intelligent and better off among their peers, these kids tend to accept their lot in life as somewhat bleak and hopeless. At least, the more sentient among them will.