Middle School Social Hierarchy

Diving Into the Social Hierarchy

By Jackie Kuang

October 26, 2020

A variation on the social hierarchy

Source: Jackie Kuang

People will usually get concerned about the social hierarchy and their social status in their school life, but is it really that important in middle school? Let’s see what the 8th graders  at Lake Oswego Junior High think.

Even though the people interviewed all have different opinions on the social hierarchy as a whole, they all agree that it really isn’t that important in middle school. When asked what their overall impressions on the middle school social hierarchy for each grade is in general, they each have different answers. In the words of Ruben Bhowmik, when asked his overall impressions on the hierarchy, “… personally I really don’t care that much about it.” This indicates that it isn’t something that must be stressed about for him, as Ruben is generally placid, yet observant of his surroundings, providing a general baseline. Ian Hsieh has a similar line of thought when saying, “I don’t think people should worry about being popular in middle school or school in general, because in the grand scheme of things, being popular doesn’t have an affect on your life.”

Even if there are apparent downsides, every cloud has a silver lining. Being higher on the social hierarchy can be beneficial in specific instances, like group projects, or having a seat at the lunch table, to name a few. Because of this information, we can comprehend why people would desire to achieve their own standard of success on the “ladder”. Though, Logan Latta is wary of this, which shows when he says, “I would not [try to move up] if you are happy where you are at and happy with the people you choose to put yourself by but if you are not then you should change [your position].” In fact, Quinn Downs suspects if people obsess over the social hierarchy too much, it will affect their mental health. So trying to be self aware of this can act as a limiter of sorts while striving for your goal.

Because school is currently all online, things have been shaken up. The social feedback given differs on the extent, but the consensus is that the social hierarchy has become less prominent in virtual schooling. The range varies from Logan and Ian thinking that it has only become less prominent, to Charlize Ortega and Quinn believing that it almost or already has disappeared, allowing us a deeper insight on the topic.

When a new social hierarchy inevitably forms, whether it’s through the start of a new grade, returning to in person school or any reason for that matter, it is most likely the easiest time to achieve one’s personal goal of a certain spot on the ladder. All in all, whether or not you find achieving some rank on the middle school social ladder worth your time or not, it’s something that’s commonplace in almost every setting of our lives, and something to contemplate.

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