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Stop cliquing, start forgiving

In my almost three semesters at Miami University, I cannot help but notice the overwhelming cliquiness of our campus culture. 

It seems as though if you are “in” you are in, and if you are “out” if you are out. Once you find that first group of friends your freshman year, you cannot leave that group or socialize with other groups without being ostracized by your “original” friends.

Or if you are in an athletic team, student organization, fraternity, sorority, etc., those are your friends. That’s final. 

It can be seen in residence halls, homes, student organization offices, dining halls and pretty much everywhere. 

By the time I started socializing my first year, everyone had already established their friend groups, leaving me struggling to make new friends. 

Okay, I get it. You don’t want to be the person who throws off the “group dynamic” or brings in the annoying new person. But what if they end up enhancing the group? Does that person not deserve a chance? 

How about second chances? 

Those seem to be non-existent anymore in friend groups, and clique culture contributes to that. 

Some of my dearest friends have been exiled from friend groups because of one mistake they made. What kind of place would the world be if people did not forgive each other? 

Nobody is perfect. It’s that simple. And you wouldn’t want to be cut out for one little thing, so why would you willingly do that to somebody else?

I think most of us can agree that Miami is like a bubble. But within that bubble are numerous other clique bubbles — where people hang out with the same people, and their thoughts, opinions, hopes and dreams echo around that bubble and hold steadfast. 

Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result each time. That is what you are doing by hanging out with the same people. 

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You will not grow as a person by exposing yourself to the same people on a daily basis. 

The Miami Bubble, as I call it, leads to a campus culture where so many people are the same. I do not feel like enough people are open to making new friends, hearing new thoughts or trying to understand other people's experiences, and it breaks my heart. 

I know when you graduate you want to say, “These were my best friends and we did absolutely everything together,” and that’s fine! 

But be willing to make new friends! Hang out with new people! Explore other friend groups! By constantly staying with the same people, you may be missing out on someone who could be your future best friend or even Miami Merger.

Excluding people and sticking with your cliques will not get you anywhere in life. People remember how you treated them and you could be excluding someone who could help you down the line or have a huge impact on your life. 

I pride myself on being able to be a part of many different groups of people, and I encourage readers to try the same. I have my TMS friends, hall friends, work friends, going-out friends, gym friends and more. 

Trust me, it is okay to hang out with lots of people. It will make you a much more well-rounded person and you will feel more connected to the Miami student body. 

We need to build a stronger sense of community on this campus, and that starts with you. 

Be more inclusive. Take risks on a new person. Be vulnerable. Try new things. Try something differently. 

Stop being so cliquey and give people a chance.