As I sit in the back of the classroom where I tend to feel most comfortable I glance across the room where I manage to catch a few people giving me dirty looks before the look away. Sitting there allows me to think about things that any normal teenager thinks about, my plans for the weekend, my family and what’s going to happen to me five years down the road. Another perk of my seat, being in the back, is being out of the way of the conversations that are buzzing around and across the room.
When I walk through the halls, however, people seem to take a different approach when it comes to dealing with my existence. They will what seem like, clear completely out of the way as if I have some kind of fatal disease that can be caught by simply brushing shoulders with me. At times people will walk right into me just to see if they can knock me down. The name-calling, the dirty looks, the jokes, it doesn’t stop until I step off the bus in the afternoon.
Experiencing this makes me think, “Why are people intimidated by anyone different from them? And why do they seem to be afraid of what they don’t understand?”
Rumor has it, that’s high school is supposed to be the best four years of our lives, I cant say I completely disagree considering the social and academic encounters I take part it, they will most likely show up later in my life. When I think about the people I have been going to school with for what feels like forever, I put into consideration that some of them have changed, some for the better and some for the worse.
When I think about the typical stereotype in any high school, the “big man on campus,” I start to think of how they see people that aren’t necessarily in the same social circle. I have noticed that they don’t even give them the time of day, because they’re different, scary, out of the ordinary. I guess I am someone who falls under that category, I just wish people would get to know me before they judge and make assumptions about me. Instead they get the impression that I am a waste of time. They don’t think they need to get to know me to know what kind of person I am.
I start to wonder if these judging, stereotypical people have ever been talked about behind their backs by someone they have never had a conversation with in their lives. So I think about it and I realize that they probably have, which is what provokes them to talk about others. They talk about people that look and act different, people who come off, as strange and scary, people who do things others don’t understand. They talk about them because it makes them feel more important. People in high school don’t understand what’s out of the “normal.” This convinces me that people are intimidated by anyone different from them, and they are afraid of what they don’t understand.d
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