Cliques In College?

<p>I'm in my Senior year of high school and I'm getting pretty sick of it. I should be able to hang out and spend time with whoever I want, but people just want to be comfortable and stay with their friends; they don't even bother to go outside their concrete social circles. It frustrates me so much because I see this group of fun-loving, supportive, smart, and caring friends that I can't have because everyone is secluding and occupying themselves in these dumb cliques.</p>

<p>My main hope is that cliques will deteriorate a bit once I get into college (no hopes that they'll go away completely). I'm planning on attending a smaller liberal arts colleges ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 students. However, I'm not sure if the larger colleges or the smaller ones commonly have a greater presence of cliques. I know for sure that I want to go to a smaller college, but it'll be a pain if I have to continue to put up with obvious cliques that leave me trapped in a limited social environment.</p>

<p>What size college do you all attend, and how would you describe the presence of cliques there? Do people isolate themselves into groups and stay in those comfort zones? Do you feel like you can easily get to know other people and maybe even form a new friendship (even when you already have a solid group of friends)?</p>

<p>I go to a large state school (20,000). There are cliques, but it is nothing like the tiny high school I went to (120).</p>

<p>I think the larger the school you go to, the more difficult it is to have exclusive cliques. My reasoning: Larger schools mean a lot more people to interact with. You're less likely to have classes with the same people over and over again. I don't share classes with a lot of my friends, whereas in high school, I always did. Not sharing classes with people you already know forces you to meet new people and they, thus, become your friends.</p>

<p>But there isn't a day that goes by where I don't meet someone new. I'm always meeting a new person in one of my classes or who is a friend of one of my friends or who is at a club meeting. For this particular reason, it's very easy to form new friendships, simply because I'm constantly meeting new people.</p>

<p>I couldn't tell you what it's like at a smaller liberal arts school.</p>

<p>@ OP- Lol! I feel like ur talking about my high school! It's so clique-y!
I'm also hoping college is less cliquey and was wondering the same thing about big vs small. Soooo, bump...^^</p>

<p>I go to a school of 40k people, and I don't think cliques are that bad here. You can move from one group to another pretty easily if you want to. The Greek system can be a little catty sometimes and there are cliques in existence, but you can always be your own person and find new people to hang out with because there are so many people.</p>

<p>My schools about 27k people, and the cliques are very very permeable. I mean, like RoxSox said, the Greek people keep to themselves and are their own little group, but outside of that, it's pretty free. People have their "core" group of friends that they feel most comfortable around, but it's very easy to join in other groups if you want to hang out with them. For example, my "core" includes the girls in the room next door and a few guys in the third floor guys' suite of my hall, but I often invade "the Entourage" (a group consisting of about five people who are practically attached at the hip) when I need some randomness, the gamers' group when I feel like playing League of Legends, the Christian college group, the j-pop or k-pop fans, the taiko drumming group, the fashionistas, pretty much whatever group I need at the moment. It's a little awkward at first (like getting to know anyone is), but if you tag along with the group on a regular basis, then people will get to know you and start to respect that. It's definitely not like high school. High school was awful when it came to that sort of thing. College is a lot better, and everyone's a lot more respectful of who you are and what you want to do.</p>

<p>I can say from personal experience that if the college is small [url=<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimer_College%5Denough%5B/url"&gt;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimer_College]enough[/url&lt;/a&gt;], cliques become a very minor part of the experience. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that the entire school becomes a single clique... But at 2000-4000 I'd expect fairly intense cliquishness -- although of course this will vary considerably depending on school culture.</p>

<p>Yeah I go to a school that has 5000 undergrads, and sadly, it is full of cliques. There is a sense of community between everyone which is nice, but there are clearly defined groups of friends that always stick together, that you could name off who hangs out with who like high school. I think this is largely because of the fact that 1.Our campus is only 90 acres and 2. Our number of students... Combine those two things and you end up seeing the same faces,every single day.</p>

<p>College is very different from high school....you will find people have groups of friends and tend to do things with different groups. You will make one group of friends with people you live with, make some friends through study groups in your first year intro classes, make another group of friends as you advance in your major, make other groups of friends relating to your various interests, whether a club or a volunteer group or an intramural team etc.
Remember that in college there is no "popular" group....everyone is too busy with their own lives to worry about stuff like that. Sometimes freshmen travel in packs, but that quickly diminishes as people adapt to campus life.
For example, my youngest son is a college junior, and he has several groups of friends...some from his fraternity, some from club soccer, some from his classes/major, some he met at Hillel and some through his girlfriend. And he has two or three--only two or three--that he considers his "best" friends, and they each came to him in a different way.</p>

<p>If you want to join a clique, find a fraternity you fit in with.</p>

<p>I go to a small LAC. If there are cliques here, they're extremely permeable. I was in a new student group with a couple of people and we became friends. I started to feel I didn't fit in with the rest of them so I got detached from the group, but they still invite me to hang out all the time. My floor is also a clique in itself (there's a core floor clique, comprising of about 30% of the floor- not the majority), but they're always willing to accept me. I'm closest to "cliqueless" people though, which is just as well. I think generally you'll like the situation in college much better.</p>