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DA Social Scene: Stick Together or Branch Out
select students
October 11, 2012

By Adriana López, ’13

You walk into the dining hall, and a wave of relief washes over you as you spot a group of your friends. You quickly sit down as everyone welcomes you with smiles and laughs.

If you really want to understand friend groups at Deerfield, stop, and look around. It all comes down to one thing: comfort. One of the first things people look for when making friends is similarity, whether it’s based on location, race, socio-economic class, schedule, sports, or any other interests. No one likes to feel uncomfortable, so we surround ourselves with people like us.

But comfort isn’t always good. Progress doesn’t occur if everyone is comfortable. So take a risk and meet someone new. Introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t look like you or isn’t from where you’re from.

By Blake O’Neal, ’15

My friend group at Deerfield is made up almost entirely of guys who do the same co-curricular that I do.

Out of the five or six guys who I spend the most time with, I would say I met a solid four of them from JV football freshmen fall.

While walking around the dining hall and other places on campus, I see hockey players, PG’s and swimmers in large groups. I can honestly say there are certain groups of people who I have never seen outside of their group of friends. This isn’t implying that I see them excluding others, but I do know if no one is reaching out then, it gives the appearance of exclusion.

By Annie Klink, ’13

The problem is not that Deerfield students are generally ‘mean’ or ‘exclusive’; I’ve always found students here to be wonderful people. The problem, rather, is awareness.

All too often, I witness the same group of kids at the same tables in the dining hall. On walk through days, it seems like we have a seating assignment. This is not the community depicted on DAnet.

Through self-selection or unintentional exclusivity, the community becomes fragmented. However, I think this is easy to fix through awareness. Next time you are at the dining hall I challenge you to stop and think about who you are hanging with.

By Ashley So, ’13

It’s easy to stick to one group of friends, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t think the existence of “friend groups” causes a problem on campus. The problem begins when a friend group excludes or gossips about people from another group.

There will definitely be those who we are super close with, and those who we never talk to at all.

The key is to be open and to connect with anyone. You never know when you’ll meet that next friend. Give each person a chance.

By Allie Gerber, ’14

Once you find your “friend group,” it’s hard to put yourself out there and meet new people, but that is what we need to do.

Our friends are normally people whom we relate to im¬mediately, but, if we try, we can find the same similarities with someone who we would have never expected.

We are lucky to have such a diverse group of students, yet we still all seem to hang with the people similar to us. Diverse halls, teams, sit down tables and classes can all help us create new friendships.
We have the tools; we just need to make the effort.