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May 24, 2012
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As Hank Green once said, in one of his youtube videos “your job is not to deal [with bullying], your job is to survive it”. When I lived in Midland, TX it was a place filled with racial intolerance. I was a freshman in high school and I was being bullied by group of people for simply being the person I was. I remember constantly being called names. One day in science class everyone crumbled up a piece of paper and threw it at me as they left the classroom, even my teacher participated.
“Why are you guys doing this to me?” I asked.
“Maybe because you deserve it” one girl said. Those words haunted me, I had never felt so alone and hated and ashamed of myself. I had heard several times that I was just asking for it, but nobody asks to be hurt and taunted.
People wrote mean notes to me, stuck things on my locker, and when I walked by people would laugh and say extremely harsh things about/to me. For the longest time I thought it was me that was causing the problem, that maybe I should change who I am because people were actively against me. I felt dehumanized and helpless. I’d come home some nights and look in the mirror crying; I was so angry at what I saw. I saw a failure whose eyes were too small, whose stomach had too much fat, whose glasses looked stupid, and who had nothing going for her.
But I realized through all of that adversity, I that needed to embrace who I am. And all the people who bullied me only did so because they didn't know how to respond to who I was as a person. I was an Asian American girl who was extroverted, loved laughing and learning, and got excited and loud about things I was passionate about. They weren't used to me, because the media constructs Asian Americans as people who keep to themselves and are only good at math. Whereas, I was not that stereotype. I learned to embrace my race, but also remind myself that I was a person who shouldn't and won’t be thrown into some generic category. I survived bullying and I came out a stronger person because of it. I know myself better. I've become more sensitive/aware to the words I use when talking to people, and overall I've become more compassionate. Because all you can do to a person who doesn't understand (due to the environment they have been exposed to by the media) is be patient, kind, embrace them, and help/hope they understand one day.

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