A Message From an Observer


Emma Lundgren, writer

I’ve always been a little different from my peers. I’d be the one to see something completely different than anyone else when looking at a painting or an inkblot test. I have a tendency to analyze things differently when reading literature. I can point out personality traits about people from just one conversation. I notice the little things that most people don’t. The little flinches and mannerisms that some use when trying hard to prove a point they believe in. The dull unconvincing voice and subtle grins to the side to avoid eye contact when others feel betrayed. It’s both a gift and a curse. I feel special based on my ability to pick up on smaller things, but I am often lost in all the details and unable to see the big picture. I’m an expert people watcher, it’s one of my favorite past-times. A high school cafeteria is the ultimate paradise for an expert observer. Hundreds of growing and changing hormonal stressed teens grouped together in one big enclosed room. They all interlock together in their little cliques forming patterns at lunch tables,  and find it hard to do anything but stick to what they do best. It’s an everyday routine. The same seats and tables every day, week, and month although nothing is assigned. Every student has a choice where they want to sit but they all retreat back to what’s comfortable for them. Every student has a home base with their friends, that upon a close look are practically the same person as them with only a few slight differences. Some cliques are big, some are small and only consist of two or three friends, some cliques sort of blend together and over lap, while some students don’t seem to belong anywhere. Each clique has a ring leader, whether they realize it or not, they all surround themselves around one important person, fighting for attention. It’s hard not to see high school students and their little groups as prides of wild animals. As much as I’m observant and I make these points, it doesn’t stop me from being a hypocrite too. I belong to my own clique, I practice all the things that annoy me. I’m no help to the cause. I like my friends and I don’t want to leave a place where I feel so comfortable. The good news is that I’m observant enough to realize that cliques don’t last long. People graduate and move on in their lives. Drama starts between two people and an entire friend group can be destroyed. We all clique together and inevitably fall apart. After studying this for so long I can now see how divide in this world happens. I turn my lunchroom into a microcosm for how hatred and segregation can occur when we are all so similar in our ways. The world is ruled by cliques of all sizes.  It’s an interesting thing to think about. I encourage you to look a little deeper at your surroundings during your next lunch break.