Friday, January 22, 2010

It's always a climb to the top

I had a realization the other day.

I realized that even as a college senior and I'm guessing it'll continue after, but there's always going to be a social heiarchy and that need for "acceptance".

And I'm not talking about the rich, poor middle class type social ladder. I mean the cool/"not cool"/ wannabe cool type heiarcy that we all succomb to.

I was with a group of my friends and it kinda dawned me as we were all hanging out and guys were interacting and I noticed it. And it's always the same type of setup or whatever. Everyone kinda had that "role", just like in HS.

First there's the kid who's COOL just because. The one that just has that natural personality that everyone draws to, everyone wants to be around and they kinda set the tone. They're the "influencer", the one that creates nicknames or sayings and they catch like WiLdFiRe They don't try to fit in or be "cool", they just are.

Then you have the "sidekick", the person who's usually at the right hand of the "influencer". This person is considered cool by everyone, but you can tell he tries. He has that constant NEED to be with the "in crowd" and always needs to be part of the ExClUsIvE clique. They have a need to exclude people, so they feel like they're special and better. The sidekick can't do anything alone either. They need people to follow them, do what they want or they'll do what someone else is because they don't know how to do things alone.

Then there's the "wannabe". The kid that tries so hard to fit in and be hang out with the "cool" kids, but always slightly fails. The "cool kids" are nice to him and keep him around, but for some reason he always falls just short of reaching that "cool rung" on the social ladder.

You also have the "soloist". The guy that isn't part of the "in crowd" and he doesn't care, because he doesn't try. He has NO interest in being popular, which ironically enough usually makes him popular; because everyone respects and appreciates his dismissal of the social structure.

Every group usually has the "floater". The kid who fits everywhere, but nowhere. He has the ability to hang out with almost any group, but has no permanent place in any of them; leaving him kind of homeless. This kid probably wants to be "cool", but isn't willing to completely conform and follow like the "sidekick" does. He kinda just does his thing, attempting to fit in, sometimes WINNING, sometimes failing and he's not really bothered either way.

I hadn't really thought much about this in awhile, not since high school really. When I was definitally more on the loser end of things. Being the only gay kid in a school 200 kinda of handicaps you socially. But I was fine with it, really. I was one of the kids who was ready to graduate when I was in the 8th grade and was too aNnOyEd with the whole social battle.

In college I've actually been "popular", and its been fUn. And I still didn't really think about this whole social structure that always seems to exist until I noticed it with my friends. And it was pretty much like I just described. "S" is our influencer, just doing what he wants and people love him for it. "B" is his sidekick, excluding people at times, doing his best to always have people with him, and just always trying to fit in. L is the wannabe. He's a gr8 kid and means well, but he just kinda falls short. And I'd consider myself the floater. I love hanging out with them and have a good time with them. But i'm not really that afraid to say no and do what I want.

But it hit me. And I kinda laughed about it. Thinking how even when we're 30 ,we are probably going to deal with it. Some people stepping on others to fit in. Some wanting to fit in so bad and others not caring at all.


stillarockstar said...

Know why YOU'RE cool?! You got the Internet's most popular blogger, Cheryl from Confessions of a TS, to FOLLOW you! :P

Laura said...

I completely agree with this assessment. It's almost like, if your different, you have to find a way to fit in just to stand out. Confusing!

I like to think of myself as the "floater," like I have many friends, but no close best friends. It can be fun at parties but hard in life. But then again, it allows me to step back and take a look at the whole picture of life and relationships rather than limiting myself to society's rules on how to not be a loner. It's amazing what you see.