high school

It might seem like I’m going to vet school, and mostly I am, but really it’s high school.  I wrote about this way back in the beginning (IRONICALLY around the same time as that year’s Grey’s Anatomy premier!! Weird!!! ), and nothing at all has changed.

We’re all very clique-y. Very friendly, but totally clique-y all the same. I’m not sure it’s possible to avoid it. At 31, I’m in a clique.

I have five friends. First year I had five friends as well but one was different – she had some issues last year and decided (among other things) that she just didn’t like us anymore (also very high school). This year she finally got over it and is starting to be friendly again, but not particularly so.  Coincidentally at the beginning of last year we got friendly with another girl who totally rocks…not sure where she was hiding first year, but whatever. But they’re basically the same group I had dinner with my first night alone in Iowa. We have pictures that were taken during orientation. We found each other fast and apparently aren’t big on change.

Don’t get me wrong – I know everyone in my class and I happily talk to them while at school and would easily chat them up if I ran into them at the grocery or something. If I go to a school function it’s never hard to find people to talk to, even if my group isn’t around. So I swear, I’m not unfriendly.

But still, everyone has their groups. Rumor has it that my group was initially the “high maintenance girls”, but this is only because we’re all out-of-state-ers, non-farm-girls, and wear heels on dress-up day, I think. So I don’t think that that’s REALLY how we’re known, especially now. There are the married girls, the married guys, the farm boys, the girls who always ask questions, etc.

So for example, one day last year it was lunch time and I was looking for my friends and was wandering the halls and say another guy and he could tell I was looking for someone so he said “Hey, Liz? Are you looking for your people? They’re in the library.” And they were. So it’s just we have our groups and they’re pretty well defined.

In a way, it’s great. I love my people. They’re different, they’re funny, they’re fun, and we click. They’re also all ridiculously pretty, thin and smarter than I am, or at least better students. Yet still, I love them. I am crazy grateful that I came all the way to Iowa and found such a good group to spend these four years with.

But there are downsides.  It’s weird. I don’t think I was ever in a clique in high school. I had my best friends, but it wasn’t so exclusive. Now it’s hard to go outside the circle, even though there is absolutely no conscious effort to be exclusive – in fact we’d all be happy to expand the circle. But there are people who I’d like to hang out with more, but attempts to do so usually just feel forced and fall flat. I guess cliques form for a reason – you gravitate towards people who like the same things as you (generally), who want to spend time in about the same way.

[It’s not like we’re clones. Two of my friends like hitting the bars a LOT more than I do, I am perfectly happy spending a Friday night in the comfort of my apartment alone, another is married and would rather never see us outside of class. I’m generalizing, generally.]

Also, it can be kind of claustrophobic.  YOU try hanging out with the same 5 people all day during class, and then going to the same coffee shop to study for a few hours, and then going out for dinner with them, for example. I think it safe to say we all get kind of sick of each other on occasion.

But anyway, today I was in the library between classes and I didn’t see any of “my people” hanging around, so I sat at a table, alone, on the loud side. Two guys (married farm boys) from my class came by and sat with me (possibly because there weren’t any empty tables). And it was really nice! We laughed, we chatted, we talked about the horrifying recent PETA swine video and roommates and whatnot. It was a nice change of pace. As an aside, I totally miss having guy friends, as I did in Boston.

But then! My friends filtered in – first two, who joined us at our table. But then the table was full…and so when the next two came in they had to sit at another table and, I don’t know, maybe you felt it, but things simply were not right with the universe.

Order was restored when the boys headed out for lunch at noon and the five of us in the library could congeal together again. But it was a nice change for a while…I might have to start crashing people’s tables.

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