[Opinion] School activities aid in exclusion among teens


Photo by Darian Williams

Samantha Goldblum

Photo by Darian Williams

When spirit week rolls around, most people are excited to show off their school spirit by dressing up for the specific days with all of their friends, and even more excited at the end of the week for homecoming. What about the students who may not be the most popular, who have only a few friends, who just moved here recently or have a best friend attending another school? These circumstances leads to students feeling excluded and isolated.

There are 52 clubs and activities at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Some students are very active in their chosen club or activity while others simply participate in these activities so they can put it on their college applications. Regardless of the reason for being in the club, the officer positions are often filled with students who are the most popular, despite not being an active or engaged member. Those that are most passionate about the club, but are not popular enough, are often left without their well-deserved position. 

Homecoming and prom weekend raise a whole new set of insecurities for the students without a date. While it is more common today for groups to form to attend these events together and no date is necessary, a lack of a  “promposal” makes one feel insecure.

Even the transportation to and from homecoming and prom can cause feelings of exclusion. As the tickets go on sale, students are forming groups to book party buses, limousines and other special transportation. There are set amounts of seats, and if someone does not get a spot, it is easy to feel a sense of isolation and exclusion. Being left off the list for transportation is especially hurtful for a high school student. 

The solution to this problem is a hard one to answer. The way things are run at school promotes exclusion and isolation on campus. This can be detrimental to the self-confidence and self-esteem of many students. For teenagers, every event in their life seems to come tumbling down on us dramatically but in reality, the “friends” that may exclude them now will not be the same friends that they have for the rest of our lives.