Through Tests and Trials

Julia - Kennewick, Washington
Entered on September 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Through Tests and Trials

Middle school was probably the roughest years that I have ever experienced in my

life. Elementary to middle school was a huge jump as far as school work and, even worse,

the social life. I was one of those tomboy girls that thrived on playing sports and wearing

boy clothes, which worked for me. It’s all I knew and I didn’t think it would be a big

deal, but I was very wrong.

Elementary school was great! I had so many friends and I was never judged for the

way I looked. But when middle school came along, I was being harassed by the “preps” every

single day. It all started with a boy, who I met on the first day of school. I was walking

down the hallway, just minding my own business and being happy about everything. As I tried

to get through the crowd, our eyes met. Thinking that he might be a nice person I smiled at

him. My grin immediately was wiped off my face when I saw his look of disgust. It was

almost evil. I looked away quickly and kept walking. As I walked away, I heard him start

laughing. Then he turned to his friends and said, “Doesn’t she look like a boy”, which got

all of them laughing. My heart sank. I never met this kid in my life, yet here he was

jumping to conclusions just because of the way I looked. Soon he wasn’t the only one that

started saying stuff about me.

I had a lot of friends in middle school that were very supportive, but the negative

comments got the better of me. I cried every single night and prayed to God that these kids

would just stop bothering me. But they never did. Each day was a challenge for me to go to

school. My stomach would twist and churn every morning without stopping, throughout the

day. I was so scared of being hurt by someone emotionally, that I lived in fear. Each year

my personality slowly shrunk. It was the first time in my life where I cared more about

what other people thought than what I thought was right. I finally changed the way that I

dressed in 7th grade; but the damage, in my mind, was already done. I lived in fear for two

years, and it stayed with me a little longer.

Yes, I suffered a lot, but when I got to high school I realized that other people

have had it way worse than me. I only went through this torture for two years while other

people have dealt with this their whole life. I empathize with them, because I know what

it’s like to be a shunned and kicked to the curb. But I had it easy compared to them. I

had other things to distract me like sports and my friends. A lot of people that go through

this don’t have friends at all. That’s such a horrible thought in my head because I don’t

know what I would’ve done without my friends.

As I was looking back on that experience in my life, it made me believe that

challenges are what make us better people. I think about what school would’ve been like had

I not gone through that suffering, and I don’t think I would’ve turned out for the better.

In that time where I was down, I turned to God completely. He was the only one who knew how

I felt. It was the most humbling experience I have ever had in my life and it brought me

closer to Him. If I went back in time I wouldn’t change a thing about that part of my life.

I figured out who I was and who my real friends were. I believe I am a better person

because of the challenges I went through.