Student to Student: Agreeable student body or hostile cliques?
Jocks stuffing Band Kids in trash cans while Cheerleaders stand by giggling? Only on the big screen. For the most part, everyone actually gets along pretty well at Park City High School. However, PCHS student, Meagan Gonzalves divulges somewhat bitterly, "So many people in high school claim that they’re nice and really aren’t. High school is a complete popularity contest." Woa! Some may consider Gonzalves’s statements somewhat hyperbolic, but it cannot be denied that certain circles do consider themselves elite. "Kids that pop their collars think they rule the school," claims junior Mike O’Day. Though admittedly, some clusters of high schoolers seem to be more admired than others, this doesn’t mean that they use this to justify rude behavior to their fellow students. Life is not like the movies; neither girls, nor guys at PCHS are near as harsh as the characters of the 2004 motion picture "Mean Girls" for instance. In fact, to a new student such as junior Ali Tingey, who recently moved here from Indiana, it is apparent that "everybody is nice." "Our school has so many cliques, but it’s not like one clique is mean to another," agrees a fellow junior, Shelby Shaw, who has been around to experience this, having lived in Park City since the seventh-grade. Most students, like senior, Erin Ivie, acknowledge that it’s easy to label the various cliques at PCHS, especially if they don’t personally know the members of the different groups. Any high school student can easily rattle off a list of social classifications for their peers. Jared Tew, whom most would catalog as a Jock, lists a few prominent social groups: "Skaters, Jocks, Gangsta Skaters, Smart Ones, Preps, Emos, Thugs." There are many others to whom Shaw gives creative titles such as "B*tches-who drive-expensive-cars-from-daddies."
Walking through the cafeteria, it is obvious that the way kids group themselves frequently corresponds with the way they dress. Hippie style of tie-dye and hemp strongly contrasts with the Goth look of dark hair and heavy eye makeup. It is noticeable that those clad in the latest Hollister items don’t sit with those wearing Wal-Mart; all too often students do judge one another based on their clothing. "Our school is very superficial," says senior, Peter Albrecht, who recently won the "Best Dressed" title for the yearbook. But his girlfriend, Brooke Wangsgard, who was the other "Best Dressed" winner, disagrees, saying that the situation is not as bad as it could be. "It’s more internal than that." Wangsgard notes that friendships are more based on personality and similar interests than appearance or financial circumstance. The idea of cliques sounds so negative and clich, but in actuality, the social interactions of the PCHS students do not fit that image. As junior Alexis Sumsion puts it, "It’s not really that big of a deal." For the most part, we do have our cliques but they’re not harsh, complete social barriers and "they’re not how we base our entire lives." We realize that after high school, out in the real world, it won’t matter if we partied with the Jocks or sulked with the Emos; if we looked awesome at prom or stayed home and baked brownies. Life continues beyond high school.
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Debate continues about schooling in a pandemic, as Park City students petition to stay in school, 78% of secondary teachers opt for remote, and case numbers remain low ahead of a feared post-Thanksgiving spike.