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!

shan1196 said...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm
Thank You! You have basically summed up my school life. My friends and I are surrounded by kids that don't care and it brakes my heart! They feel that nothing in the world can hurt them, when in reality they are hurting them selves beyond compare! They make fun when I read for fun, and do my work. Thats not what bothers me though, they say they can't do it. They say they aren't smart enough. They don't even try so how would they know they can't do the work? Thank You this article was AMAZING! 
lszyman96 said...
Jun. 17, 2010 at 11:44 am
that was amzing
AnneOnnimous said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 4:33 pm
love this! I like the repition of dear peers especially and how it tied everythign together.
whispersofthenight said...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 9:40 pm
great job! Loved it. very inspiring
addicted2candy said...
Jun. 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm
LOVE IT! That's what i'm talking about! We have to stand up for ourselves and have enough respect and confidence in ourselves to not let other insecure people bring us down. Kids and teenagers can be the most judgemental group of people, and most of it is due to their own insecurities. I know it can be hard to ignore, but at the end of the day what really matters is if you love yourself. If the answer to that question is "yes" then forget the haters and keep moving forward. I think your piece ca... (more »)
Forver Judy Blume said...
May 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm
OMG I loved that, your words insprided me to not think just about myself but everyone but, may god bless you
Tomboy said...
May 12, 2010 at 10:30 am
nice layout.  this helped me and im going to try to be more like the last note
lunar_moon said...
May 2, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Dear Peers,

I teared up when I read this, because I realized sometimes I'm as strong as the last person/character you created, but sometimes I'm not. And I hate myself for that. But I know that there are people that are better than me. And I go on living.

Sitav N. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 10:33 am
never hate yourself for anything. I created this piece with the image of who i used to be in mind so that you could be inspired to become that last person. go on living, and keep on learning. you will get there.
Havengirl said...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 7:19 pm
Very well written.
mcpanicfanic said...
Apr. 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm
AMAZING!!!!!!!! Pure genius.
AprilBlue said...
Apr. 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm


Omg I wanna give you a hug, like I'm dead serious... *sighs*

I seriously... you like read my mind. Oh my goddd.... I hate it when kids are like... complementary and they butcher the word.... AGH


jOjOsfreakingCIRCUS said...
Apr. 10, 2010 at 10:18 pm
Ah. Like a breath of fresh air
peace.frog.271 said...
Apr. 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm
How refreshing! The layout of this "article" if it really is even considered an article, is quite interesting, and it makes me want to read more of your work. I agree with the information 100% and it's nice to see this! Thank you! :)
toxic.monkey said...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 9:32 am
this is an amazing and touching article!! i loved your tone and how you separated the different "stages" with "Dear Peers,". keep writing andbe special :)
naturelover123 said...
Mar. 17, 2010 at 10:28 am
I love the last part. Shows how senseless their actions are...they're just jealous, insecure, and want to bring you down with them.
lovemeorleaveme said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 10:48 am
i luvvvd this article...thanx for writing it...!!
tashia towers said...
Feb. 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm
I love this article this is truly how i feel. It seems like as you get older and mature you realize why try to impress and live for others. Who arent doing anything for you. If people sont like me i dont care if people feel a certain way about me i dont care. The only peoples opnions that i care about are my true friends and families because they only try to help me succeed so kudos to you for realizing that
fiftiesgal467 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm
Really powerful and really true! Why do so many people care what everyone else thinks! The most important people in life are the ones that love you for who you are!
TrueColors said...
Jan. 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm
Wow! THis is exactly how I felt starrting on the first day of last year up until a few months ago when I decided to stop doing everything to be average. It's very liberating to be able to be yourself all the time.
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