Secondary schools are a brilliant place for hatred to flourish. You see the same people almost every single day for five solid years, so relationships, good or bad, are bound to appear.
Most of the relationships you make in school are to do with which group you belong to. The rugby players and the sporty girls will have their own group, the players and the sluts have theirs, the chavs another and the nerds take the last. Of course, in every school the groups will be different, but in my experience those are the leading forces of stereotypical peer-warfare. There are always the go-beweens and that one person that seems to get on with absolutely everybody, no matter what. There’s always someone floating around in social limbo, observing the goings-on of their school with a particularly, well, observant eye, since they have nothing else to do.
I was one of those limbo-kids, always there but never really connecting with any of the groups. Even the nerds didn’t want me: they obsessed over looking and being perceived as clever, whereas I know what I am capable of and I don’t need constant patting on the back for it. Therefore, I assigned myself to watching, and watch I did.
I saw the way my school worked: everyone was convinced they were “real” and “hard” when actually we went to the next best thing to a private school in our area. I saw how we not only stereotyped due to where a person was from or by what clothes they wore, but by which school they attended, which I saw as utterly nonsensical. The rougher school that was just up the road, for example, was categorised as a “chav” school, when actually the people calling them chavs fit into that grouping better than they did. The local private, for example mark II, was stereotyped as “for nerds and snobs”. Need I compare? One of the lads from the private school I knew was cool as an ice-cube, if you’ll forgive the black ops quote.
I tried not to intervene with the goings-on as I watched, but there were always a few things I couldn’t let go, such as a fight between too extremely good friends, or excessive bullying. When things get bad enough for me to intervene, you can generally be sure it’s gotten pretty bad. Indeed, the worst cases of bullying tended to involve someone of the LGBTQ spectrum, but that’s another story altogether.
So, I conclude, stereotypes are misguided and school is a strange experience. I think you knew that already. Also, I am the perfect stereotypical creepy guy. I’m such a hypocrite, eh?