Everyone is born with different likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses, characteristics that mold and shape the clay that is us. When we were young, we were encouraged to nurture and grow those likes and strengths,to be ourselves, to not be afraid to show the world who we are. We were brainwashed to believe that other students would be accepting and considerate, the harsh truth couldn’t be any further from the idea we were led to believe.
I grew up loving Star Wars, Godzilla, Naruto, reading, and other various “nerdy” things and true to being myself I lived my life in elementary school with an enthusiasm to share my love for such topics. I wasn’t afraid to run around school as a ninja or use Star War references in class, I was basically an innocent child uncorrupted by society’s judgments. Life was simple, I could be myself….until I got into fifth grade. In fifth grade, other students matured faster than I did, both mentally and physically, I was always the nerdy little kid that was into anime and Star Wars. Other students stopped liking “cartoons” and started to like more “mature” things while I was still in love with my childhood interests. Eventually the looks of my peers made me finally realize that they didn’t think of me as one of them, I sat at lunch with only a few friends and other kids wouldn’t want to associate themselves with me. At this point, the fog in my mind cleared and I finally saw why my peers didn’t like me. I told myself at that point I told myself if I wanted to be liked and accepted by my peers I would have to change myself, hide my true self, and display a mask of someone else.
The entire idea of being yourself was a complete lie, no one ever told me that society wasn’t accepting to those who are considered different to the social norm. As I grew older, I saw my peers became more and more alike as being different means being left out. I disliked middle school with a passion, classrooms were mixed with ignorant kids that didn’t care about school and kids who were passionate about school and loved it. I remember one time we were discussing the killing of animals in their natural habitat and I said that the animal had evolved there, it couldn’t be moved somewhere else; this one peer told yelled out, “This isn’t Pokemon”. The entire class started laughing and I was devastated, I really thought I made a good point. I dragged myself through the rest of middle school without any enthusiasm, I went to school, went home, rise and repeat. The constant laughter and comments had taken its toll on me.
Up to that point, I truly believed inside me that individuality was a complete lie, I wasn’t going to live life completely being myself, then I reached high school. So far, high school has been an interesting experience for me; surprisingly, some people are a lot more accepting here, the stuff I enjoy to do is thought of as normal rather than different. For society to progress, there must be the one person that thinks differently, that one person could possibly have ideas that revolutionizes the world; they are the innovators of this world. Unfortunately, I still do not believe that individuality is encouraged by society as there are still some who would frown upon those who are different, but those who do accept people as they are; they are one of the many types of heroes of this world.