Prejudice, Racism & Peer Pressure: How To Cope.

A lot of people can live life easy without having to worry about what people will think of them during first impressions, if they'll fit in the crowd, whether or not they will be accepted in a certain community or society, or if they'll ever make REAL friends. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of these people.

I'm a 15-year-old Asian, and I'm not ashamed of it. My entire life I have been picked on or teased by my classmates or people I met during social events, and as a young child, it really brought my self-esteem and confidence down.

It all started in grade 1 sure I had a few REAL friends, but the rest were just random people whom I didn't want anything to do with. At the age of 6, my peers would steal my pencil crayons, sharpeners, etc., and to be honest, that wasn't too bad. But once I got into grade 2, I had people in grade 5 picking on me because I was different.

By the time I hit grade 5, almost the entire grade level was against me, so being the young and sensitive person that I was, I would go home crying everyday because everybody hated me. During that school year, I had also got into a lot of fights which of course, the others started. I'm not the type of person who indulges in those things, but my peers kind of threw me in and forced me to fight them. They used to cuss and threaten me by saying, "Ugly paki who has a fucking beard and mustache, were going to kick your ass". I was surprised at how low they could get.

Every time something bad would happen, my mother would call the schools Vice-Principal to tell him what happened. At one point, I had complained to him about so many people picking on me, that he had actually started to go on my enemies' side by saying, "I don't think it's only them who are causing trouble. You must be doing something too." I got so hurt and angry with him for saying that, and I have never forgiven him for it. How would he know what goes on in my daily life?

In grade 7, it was time for me to move on to another school, High School, that is. The one I attend right now has over a thousand students, so I became very afraid of what it would be like. I thought there would be even more people picking on me. Obviously, the people who had gone to elementary school with me continued to do so, but nobody else seemed to say anything rude about me. As it turns out though, many of my friends during grade 7 and 8 weren't REALLY my friends, which hurts now to think that I trusted them all so much.

This year, I'm heading into grade 10, and I'm a completely changed person. People STILL often judge me by my skin color, my religion, my race, and even the clothes or make-up that I wear, but I couldn't care any less about it anymore. When I used to go home crying everyday, I was a child who didn't know any better. Now I have come to realize that people who pick on others (no matter what the reason) is because they want to feel superior to everyone surrounding them and they want everyone to know it. They get pleasure out of hurting others because that's the only way they can cope with their own issues in life.

My advice to people who suffer as I do: just ignore them. Yes, I know it is difficult to do so, but that's the only way they'll stop. They get fun out of us if we try to insult them or get back at them, or if they see we are responding to their actions. Try this for a few weeks (three at the most). If it doesn't work, then try to come up with witty and smart insults to throw back at them but make sure there's no cussing or violence involved, and that it wont get you in trouble!

Be true to yourself don't change your religion just because of what others say. Wear whatever YOU want to wear don't wear something if its not truly you, if you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed in it or if you're doing it just to be cool. Go ahead wear clothes that are sooo last season! Who cares! If that's who you are, then stick with it! Don't let others judge you or bring you down, because you can be better than that!

I will leave you with 2 good quotes from 2 artists:

  • Don't let others determine who you are. ~ Isaac Hanson
  • Keep that chin up, you'll be alright ~ Savage Garden