This I Believe

Max - Gulfbreeze, Florida
Entered on September 5, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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The number one problem in most high schools these days is stereotyping. Everyone has his or her own friends and cliques, each conspiring against one another. Everyday is a clash or war, rockers VS. preps, jocks VS. geeks, and the people just trying to fit in. I have found where I belong, and who disagrees with how I dress or what kind of music I listen to. I may wear dark colored clothes or not be as social as most people, but that doesn’t mean I should be looked down on.

Through my high school years I have been picked on, shutdown, and discriminated for who I am, and eventually that abuse takes effect and hate sets in. But I believe hate can be a positive emotion. Hate and anger can give a person a strength like no other if used correctly, forcing one to better himself ten times better than he thinks he is. Without that train of thought, being stereotyped for a long period of time can completely change someone’s life. Someone who was once social and outgoing could start to withdraw himself from the crowd among other things.

I have grown up in depression, guilt, and anger. These raw emotions have built my walls piece by piece and made me who I am. A lot of times teachers, peers, or even the friends you thought cared the most don’t even pay attention to you. You should really find one person to talk to that you can trust with you deepest, darkest secrets. I have been betrayed many times by some of my closest friends and thought I should just give up on the world, until I met the stress management counselor at my school. Quickly I bonded with her and basically put my entire life on the table. She helped me through the toughest times in my life.

Having the security of knowing there was someone I could talk to and trust has really helped me. All in all many people are really just misunderstood. If you see someone that looks scary or depressed, try talking to that person and there is a good chance you might help that person or you might find that you have a lot in common. Just because your friends wouldn’t take the time of day to say hello to that person doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I can not tell you how many times a complete stranger has walked up to me and made me feel better about myself. People like that have given me a reason to live, I thank them so much, they have done so much more than just make me feel better, they have saved my life, even if they don’t know it.