This I Believe

Alex - Wilmington, Massachusetts
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: race

“Come on, you are Asian”

Since my middle school years, I’ve been told this many times. Often, people in society forces people to be under a stereotype for them. But, I believe in who I am, and defy others who judge me by my races.

On my first day of high school, I sat with my middle school friends for lunch. People all passed around their new schedules. I didn’t take all honors classes because I didn’t want to push myself too hard since it was the first year of high school. Then, one kid asked me, “Come on, you are Asian, you should take all honors classes. You are supposed to be smart.” So, I realized that people thought Asians should take all honors classes.

Also, many people assume that I eat fish a lot. They ask questions like, why don’t you go to Japanese Restaurant? Or, people ask me if I am a Chinese or not. Then, when I say I am a Korean, they switch the topic to nuclear testing in North Korea is testing and ask me if I’m against it or not. It’s like a question you get to face everyday. It just doesn’t seem that I can get away from these questions for now.

I am now in my sophomore year at Wilmington High School. I clearly know that I am an Asian, but I don’t care. Although I do eat sushi, I’m not a “raw fish eater” that people would criticize. Also, I am not Chinese. I am Korean. I am against the use of nuclear weapons. Some people make decisions based on their stereotypes. However, when it comes to make my friends, I don’t make myself a racist or judge people by their skin color. Instead, I would look at their character or personalities and tries to understand the cultural difference if there is one.

I believe in being myself. I believe that I should be the one that makes my character, not other people’s stereotypes. Sometimes, peer pressure often forces me to do what I am expected to do. However, I believe that being happy with myself is more important than being popular with everybody.