A look at college cliques

By in Features

Oct. 3 may seem like just another day, but it has gained fame as annual Mean Girls Day. Released 15 years ago, the modest budget teenage­-comedy remains a worldwide classic today. 

Written by Tina Fey and based on the book Queen Bees & Wannabes, the film centres around the struggles of navigating through high school cliques. While marketed as a high school classic, it has grown to be a pop culture phenomenon, being referenced throughout the years on Twitter, blogs as well as in university classes.

The main protagonist in the film, Cady Heron, grew up being home-schooled in Africa by her zoologist parents unaware of the challenges of high school. Upon her arrival at North Shore High School in the United States, she quickly finds herself thrown into the realities of high school cliques as she tries to find her place. She ends up having to choose between her out-crowd friends Damian and Janis, or the crude popular “Plastics”.

In a popular scene in the movie, Cady walks through the school’s cafeteria where cliques are dramatically segregated by lunchroom tables. Passing by groups like the Art Freaks and Jocks, her fate is settled when she chooses to sit at the Plastics’ table.

While these stereotypes are theatrically showcased in the movie, they highlight an important conversation on clique culture. It is easy to believe cliques do not extend past high school, however, cliques can exist throughout our lives. 

The university’s various colleges and their associated majors are cliques of their own. But unlike the cliques in Mean Girls, it is not necessarily always a bad thing. Recently there has been a trend online where different majors poke fun at each other’s stereotypes. 

While this can sometimes come across as offensive — like when people argue that their major is superior or more difficult than another — it can also be a light-hearted way of recognizing our differences. 

The great thing about the university is that we have the opportunity to explore a variety of paths whether we choose to major in city planning, visual arts, accounting or physics. As Cady once said, “the limit does not exist.” 

Unlike Mean Girls where there isn’t always a place for everyone to fit in — like when Cady was left sitting alone in the bathroom stall at lunch — the cliques on campus have a place for everyone. You just have to find the right group to match your interests. 

At the end of the day, what makes the university special is the ways we can collaborate as a whole by bringing forward our different areas of expertise.

Sophia Lagimodiere/ Outreach Director

Graphic: Shawna Langer/ Graphics Editor

Photos: Sophia Lagimodiere/ Outreach Director