by Lily Synder '22
“You can’t sit with us!” This famous line from the movie Mean girls has come to symbolize clique all across the country. The only difference with NCS is that supposedly it’s based on our school. However, in my opinion, the NCS community strives to be inclusive towards everyone. This usually shines through but not always. Of course, this is also dependent on specific grades and differs throughout the different tiers of school.
In the NCS upper school, although groups may be prominent they are not exclusive and they are consistently changing. Everyone may have their “friend group”; the people they invite to get before dances or to hang out with on the weekend. But, within the school, the groups become less defined and the culture shifts towards “everybody hangs out with everybody” at least in the 9th grade. There is nobody in school that does not have anyone to sit with in class or at lunch and there is nobody that will say that someone cannot sit with them. Not everyone is in a group, however. There may be people that are considered “floaters”. They don’t have a defined group but they are friends with everyone. Something that is significant to NCS is the feeling of community between everyone-even across grades. If your upset, anyone will come up to you and ask you what is wrong or try to comfort you. There are always little moments that people either feel excluded; maybe when their friends all join a team that they don’t or a club. But, overall the NCS community is inclusive, kind and willing to change. Another thing that makes the NCS community so inclusive socially is the different opportunities presented to meet different people. Whether it be a club, sport or class, students are constantly meeting new people. People would not have thought about getting to know if they were in soccer practice every day for a few hours during the fall semester. They meet and form a bond and instantly a new friend is made. When this happens all the time, in school, sports and extracurriculars, the NCS community becomes interconnected, close and bonded.
In middle school, it is a little different, particularly towards the seventh grade. The groups are clearly defined and people are more exclusive. At that time, emotions are heightened and little things are sometimes blown way out of proportion. Groups can be defined by group chats or even things as trivial as Secret Santa during the holidays. The air of competition is beginning to form abut grades and people are still figuring out who they are. It is at this time when group chats that exclude others begin to form. However, towards the eighth grade, friend groups begin to settle and people begin to branch out a bit more with that exclusive aspect fading towards upper school.
The inclusive social culture at NCS has a really big impact on its community. It provides a supportive backing throughout the upper school that helps students every single day. It creates a situation where nobody feels alone and everyone has someone to talk to.