The Evanstonian

Don’t let the status quo get you down

Miyoki Walker, Entertainment Columnist

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You know that scene in the 2004 Tina Fey-written classic Mean Girls where the entire social dynamic of the high school lunchroom is summed up in a quick two-minute scene? And the students rip each other apart like animals when this dynamic is threatened? The same applies for ETHS.

When we first stepped foot into the high school years ago, the world—or H-Hall rather— was our oyster. The possibilities for the next four years were endless, with dozens of clubs to join, an entire directory of exciting new classes to take and a multitude of potential friendships to make. Sadly, instead of taking advantage of the many different opportunities awarded to us, many of us fell into the same trap of status quo’s and social hierarchy as every high school movie in history has shown us by refusing to disrupt the natural social order that has existed since the beginning of time.

Don’t try to deny it; we’re all guilty in one way or another of perpetuating the idea of the status quo. From the minute we first sat in the auditorium to hear Witherspoon’s famous first “It’s a great day to be a Wildkit” speech of the year, we’ve separated ourselves into groups based on race, income, interests and several other categories. To make matters worse, many of us have committed ourselves to ensuring that these groups remain unaltered and impenetrable. You’d think it was weird if the girl who loves anime went to sit at a table full of baseball players—it would be, and that’s something we need to work on.

It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault that we’ve fallen into the same pattern as those who came before us; it’s only human nature to surround ourselves with those most similar to us. But the problem is that we all consider some groups (sometimes our own) superior to others, regardless of whether we’re willing to admit it. We separate ourselves at football games, pep rallies and even in the class Facebook group because we’d rather hang around the people we consider better than the rest.

This phenomenon began long before us and will continue to happen long after we’ve graduated, but even if we can’t change the way high school social classes form, we can change the way we think of them. We can all probably agree that no one person is inherently better than another, so we should also be able to agree that no one group is better than another either. We’re all complex human beings with interests and lives of our own. We all have teachers we hate, subjects we love and people we aspire to be. Just because we all have different experiences doesn’t mean we can judge others based on theirs.

That being said, I urge you to spend the little time we have left together exploring what you never bothered to before. Try dancing with a group you’ve never interacted with before at Prom, or say “congratulations” to someone in your row at graduation. Even if we don’t have much time left together, it only takes a second to talk to someone new.

As we all move on to whatever the next step in our lives are and we continue to separate ourselves by social stratification, I hope that we can destroy the mental ranking we have of these different social groups. All groups, regardless of interest, race, sexuality, etc., are an essential part to the ETHS community and the community would not be the same without every single one.

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Don’t let the status quo get you down