Ask Mikey Michelle Arana

Dear Mikey,

I am sure you will be able to tell by the end of this but I am one of your younger readers. Recently, I have had my feelings hurt at school as I feel like I don’t belong in any certain “clique.” I try to be myself, but I always feel pressured that I have to be someone else that I am not.

What is the point of all of these groups and cliques at schools anyway? In my opinion, it just seems to segregate everyone even more and can be very hurtful.

Is this what the real world is going to be like after I graduate?

— Say it isn’t so

Dear Say it isn’t so,

I can already tell that you are wiser beyond your years so don’t ever lose that quality about yourself; that quality is very rare and unique and society can sure benefit from more people like you.

You are right. The more groups and cliques we have in this world, the more people do not seem to understand that we are just segregating ourselves from working together instead. It is great that people can find clubs and cliques that they share common interests with, but how does that make other people feel who may share entirely different interests where there are no clubs or cliques?

My guess is that there are people out there that have hurt feelings and feel left out just like you do.

Think of all of the many different types of groups and cliques that are out there — whether Catholic, Buddhist, Amish, African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, jock, nerd, rock music, classical music, tall people, short people — everything seems to be divided nowadays. What does that accomplish? That is great that people can meet other people that share their same traits or interests, but how do we learn about new things if we only try to meet people that have the same interests as we do? How do we grow as human beings? Can we?

With all of the wars with each other that are going on, you would think that we would learn our lesson, especially around the holidays as most of the songs talk about peace on Earth. Well peace on Earth should be considered an international motto, don’t you think? A motto where everyone can come together despite their differences and work together to make the world a better place.

How can we make the world a better place when we are constantly segregating ourselves from one another?

Don’t be hurt by the fact that you feel left out. Instead look at it as a growth opportunity that instead of belonging to one club at school or one “clique,” you have something special to offer all clubs and cliques as you belong to all of them. Always remember that the best person you can ever be in life is yourself.

As for your concern with what life is like after you graduate ... well, being that you are the next generation of leadership, maybe what you do now in school can rub off on the other students. So when you all graduate someday, there will be much more collaboration in the world than there is segregation.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at

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