Dear Peers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 6, 2008
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Dear Peers,

I used to look up to you. I used to try to get your attention. I used to want to fit in by wearing weird clothes and listening to all the lies you’d tell me. I used to laugh at jokes that weren’t funny. I used to let you copy off my tests. I used to want to be like you.

Dear Peers,

I used to get very upset when you started a rumor about me. I used to cry about it. I used to try to defend myself. I used to raise my voice, and when you didn’t listen, it would ruin my day.

Dear Peers,

I used to get angry when you cursed at me, when you cornered me and made up lies. I used to get mad when I walked into class and saw your scowls. I used to curse you back.

Dear Peers,

I used to hate the way you looked at me, as though I was less than you. I hated the way you talked about my ethnicity. It wasn’t funny. I used to insult you under my breath for being so narrow-minded. I used to tell the teachers and you’d call me a snitch.

Dear Peers,

I used to ignore what you said to me. I used selective hearing, which you called a “big word.” I stopped listening to your senseless language, without meaning, without dignity. I stopped watching you stoop lower and lower for your own self-satisfaction. And I opened my eyes.

Dear Peers,

I used to feel sorry for you. I felt bad because you couldn’t see the meaning in everything, in the little things, and in the things that mattered the most. No, you only saw dating, clothes, cliques, and texting as life, as fun, as a future. It broke my heart.

Dear Peers,

I used to laugh at you. I thought it was so funny how you would make fun of me for getting an A while you got an F. I used to spaz at the way you still couldn’t read the word complementary in the seventh grade and how you would throw library books in the garbage can. I used to smile when you talked about how great your seventh boyfriend was. And, I’ll admit, I still laugh now.

Dear Peers,

Feel free to say what you want. Feel free to do what you want. Go ahead! Make up a rumor about my secret ­Internet boyfriend. Tell everyone I’m a retard who thinks the whole world is made up of textbooks and teachers. Throw paper balls at my head while I’m reading. Shoot me with pieces of buttered bagel at lunch. And then tell me what you got out of that. Superiority? Was it fun? Do you think I’m suddenly dumber now? Has my smile gotten duller? Does my family love me any less? Did my teachers stop appreciating having me in their classes? Did I lose any inspiration? Well … I’m ­waiting.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 106 comments. Post your own now!

UndiscoveredWriter said...
Oct. 26, 2013 at 12:15 am
You are so articulate , Your words can really help someone thats dealing with peer pressure so as yourself and i want to also add that you standed up up for whats right .
AdrianaMartinez This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 9, 2013 at 2:42 am
I loved how you not only took one topic to talk about, but took several of them and talked about each one. I think a lot of people can relate to your work because it's something that everyone faces sooner or later. The only thing that seperates us from them, is how we react to it. The ending coouldn't have said it any better. I really enjoyed reading your piece.
Novelist123 said...
Oct. 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm
You've done something I've wanted to do for a long time, and you really hit it right on the dot. Thanks for sharing what everyone was thinking.
swcricket98 said...
Jun. 29, 2012 at 10:11 am
As one of those 'smart' and 'weird' girls at school, I can really relate to what you are portraying. Although my case is not as bad because I do have friends, I hope that there will come a day where all insecure girls, including myself, will come to the point at which they can think the last message you wrote to themselves whenever a peer is wrong to them.
lou205 said...
Jun. 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

i love it!! great job!!

by the way, i relate to what you're saying a lot!!

ZaynabtheWarriorPrincess said...
May 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm
I love this piece! It's so honest and raw and I can relate to it so well! Please continue writing!
TTTeeSS said...
May 16, 2012 at 7:15 am
Wow. That makes me think. I've ever known a few people who were anywhere near that, but it still made me think.
pandagirl312 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm
I loved how this piece was written--like a whole bunch of little letters. : ) nicely done.
MiaUnwriten said...
Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:39 am
awesome, very touching
asofnow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm
That was really like me.. before I moved. But the thing was, rumors did start about me, and I despised them. Sometimes I still think back, do they regret it, but honestly, I doubt it!
bookcub1998 said...
Mar. 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm

wow that was really good. I felt so bad in the beginning but at the end i laughed that was a really goooooood ending. :)


Sitav This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm
Hey guys! I wrote this when I was 13 and will be 17 in a few months. If you do like my writing please check out my column at the VCG Times. Google "Sitav Nabi Verona Cedar Grove. Thanks!
Deej6595 said...
Dec. 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Thank you for writing this article. I feel as if every letter to the peers was things that had gone throgh my mine at some point. This is my life and the life of many others and I am glad you are using writing as a healthy vehicle to vent your frustration so thank you again and remember that we are better than those people who still can't prounounce complementary :)
Imagine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm
I felt as though this letter, while representing an all-too-true and all-too-common problem with peers, lacked interesting word choice and creativity. It's a nice basis and creative format, but I would tap into you poetic side for some alliteration and vivid wording. Best of luck! :]
Lalalovable said...
Dec. 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm
This is really great!You expressed emotion very well... sometimes you just got to create an island where only u and the important people matter:)
Katie-jo said...
Dec. 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm
This is amazing! I love the way it's set it up. I really needed this when I was younger...
Kalyn92 said...
Dec. 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm
This is so great! Takes me back to middle school days.
shapeshifter56 said...
Dec. 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm
This is great! I love how you show your different perceptions of these people throughout the piece. You are a phenomenal writer!
Labradorian This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Dear Author:

Oh, that made me grin. It reminded me so much of myself, my school experiances. I really loved how you sepporated the story into individual letters as the story evolved. It gave it flavor. I still can't stop grinning. iI loved it.

Zxarra said...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 11:07 am
I loved how you got your message out in such a different and interesting format! This piece reflects my experiences in middle school. I'm going to send this to all my friends if you don't mind.
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