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When you turn 11, it's like, "Bam! Welcome to the world of cliques and popularity struggles." Well, that's how it was like for me, and I'm tired. Tired of pretending to be someone I'm not. Tired of feeling like, "Oh, everyone is laughing." I guess it's time for me to laugh too.

I remember in preschool everyone was friends with everyone. If you asked, "Can I play?" there was no question about it, of course you could play. Then, as I entered elementary, people started to care more about how they looked so they could impress others, but they still included people. Now in middle school it's like they're just plain cold if you ask to play. They just kind of ignore me. It's like they don't even care about hurting my feelings. In high school this will hopefully change.

Maybe you've experienced feeling like a leftover, like you don't belong anywhere. Everyday at lunch, I find myself sitting away from the big groups, away from the table with the people everyone wants to be friends with. I see people glance in the direction of the table where I'm sitting with my friends, like they're thinking, "Who would want to be their friend?" But you know what? I'm proud of not following the groups. Proud of having my own friends and that will never change.

At recess it's the same groups hanging out on their own. I look around and see these little huddles of girls. The boys are all playing together. I wish I liked to play sports so I could play with the other people during recess. If I go to play with one of the groups, just the way they look at me, glaring and smirking, it's like they think they're too good for me. Most recesses I find myself in my school library reading a book.

I don't know how it will be when I get older but I hope people will begin to realize that popularity isn't everything, that there's more to life than being in a clique and trying to all be the same. I mean if everyone was the same then we would all have the same mind and we might never progress as a community. If we all thought like each other, we might still think the Earth is flat.


With a Perspective, I'm Naomi.