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!

JoPepper said...
Apr. 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm
This is really good and so true. I don't get how a "F" is better than an "A" either.
Brooklynn said...
Mar. 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm
this was great and i think that anyone who goes through these kinds of troubles always comes out better in the end then their tormentors. i am so inspired that you could still see the good things in life when you were going through this. most people cant. kudos to you i hope you keep writing this was amazing
Jokester said...
Feb. 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm
 Great Article. I ha ve many new ideas to tell some people...
shreya756 said...
Jan. 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Thank you for writing this :)
Chibbie said...
Jan. 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm
this is wonderfull and so true to us teens. We have been affected by this for years, wheather we were the victims or the bullies but all in all your writing is marvelous. KEEP WRITING!!
Israel70717 said...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 11:28 am
I think this article is powerful. I know lots of people can change from bad friends to good ones know. This can inspires me to not be like those friends you used to have but to be the best friend anyone has had.
joele24 said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm
I feel the exact same way about "Dear Peers" this is great.
Taylor-Von :) said...
Oct. 31, 2010 at 6:48 pm
Wow! This article has really inspired me. I go through the same things in school sometimes. This gives me more courage to become a better person whether people choose to kick me down or lift me up. Thanks for writing this! Great job :)
MLH305 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:15 am
High school is often said as "the best years of your life," but they could also be the hardest. These are the years where we decide how we're going to act, where we're going in life, and what kind of person we're going to be. After reading this, I've realized that we all have our own personalities and not everyone is going to accept that. But it's life. It might be hard, but we have to learn to deal with it. 
MAB301 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 10:47 am
Teenagers these days are selfish, spoiled, and they think the world revolves around them. I am a teenager, and I sometimes act like this, but reading this helps me understand how the person on the other side of this stick feels.  I love this article, and I can relate to it because at my old school, everyday I saw a kid being picked on because of how smart he/she was. Actions like these are examples of the ignorance and selfishness in the teen world today.
TheShadowsHaveEyes said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm
 Ain't that the truth. Wonderful job.
SitavN. said...
Sept. 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm
I love you guys!!!
kao-chanu said...
Sept. 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm

This is amazing, it really hits deep. It is also very well written.

Thank you for writing this :)

thebushhippie said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm
SPECTACULAR!!! And so true!! This is extremely inspirational. I know A LOT of people that need to read this... Keep on writing! Don't you ever stop! Thank you for writing this!
live-love-laugh said...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm

we need more people to read articles like these! it seems like one of the only 'prejudices' that isn't addressed in mainstream culture and is least-known is the bullying and shunning of the intelligent. After all, if you made fun of someone who got bad grades and was on the 'lower end' of the 'intelligence spectrum' for being stupid, immediately you would be berated for being cruel and a bully. However, if you make fun of someone who is intelligent for their intelligence, it's fine. some... (more »)

Izzzy said...
Jul. 17, 2010 at 9:10 pm
This is great. And it really is out-of-the-box, in the best way there is. The 'Dear' writing is great and creative. With more people like you- we might get somewhere!
goddess_of_the_moon_123 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 8:51 am
Amazing. Every kid who's ever been ostracized for getting good grades, being smart, being different needs a copy of this-- you've created something special :)
becca said...
Jul. 4, 2010 at 2:40 am
wow. i love this.i can completely relate to this. especially the part where you wrote that you used to laugh at yr peers because you realised how narrow minded they were. i still laugh at them sometimes.
krissi.love7 said...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 12:38 am
man this was a wonderful piece that summed up my 7th grade year. thank you for some new inspiration
cameronjay said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm
omg, that was amazing(: you summed up how i feel. keep writing. i loved it.
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