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

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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.

Exactly.

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!

Nicolioliolsterz_1 said...
Jan. 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm:
this was very realistic and relatable which will draw in more and more readers everyday.Very well written.
 
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Scripted said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 11:41 am:
Very well written article. I think you speak for a lot of people. You are doing great, keep it up and guess what? You will be their boss one day!!! :)
 
MoonLight replied...
Apr. 17, 2010 at 6:24 pm :
haha, yea i used to hear that allt he time when i was little, inspired me to speak up and write this article.
 
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earthmuffin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 26, 2009 at 2:14 pm:
very well written
 
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songofthenight said...
Oct. 13, 2009 at 3:19 pm:
This was wonderful! Unique, and with the same perspective I've had for years and years. And it's a great feeling to know that I'm not alone like this, and I can pretty well tell that others feel the same way, too.
 
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Sitav N. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 24, 2009 at 10:57 pm:
I honestly wish there was a way i could write back to you guys for ur amazing comments. Its so great to get such great feedback,
 
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Kristen H. said...
Jul. 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm:
I almost cried when I read this email, it related to me so much! You put something on paper that my jumbled emotions would never have been able to do. I think its funny that the people who torment both you and I would not be afflicted by this poem, because they wouldn't understand half of it, and the other half they would become so stupidly ignorant of how stupidly ignorant they are that they would call us stupid. Rock on my friend, you are ah-mazazing! your friend, otempora
 
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doverdrama said...
Jul. 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm:
Dear Peers,
Stop being so stupid!! You sound brilliant, and I don't understand why people do that either.I get teased sometimes for getting straight A's, but, like you, I move on with my life. Great job!
 
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Shelly H said...
Jun. 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm:
“Dear Peers” was incredibly deep, yet its simple letter approach made it easy to relate to and understand. Peer pressure is a common problem that is often defined as a desire to be cool and fit in, but most of the time children give in to what the idiot masses tell them to do because they are fed up with the teasing and jokes. Even the strongest spirits falter in the face of a hundred arrogant fools. The worst part of lumping teenagers together is that the good-natured ones, being se... (more »)
 
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Gray/son/of/god said...
Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm:
I agree with smartest/in/class both boys and girls are treated this way and we need to learn how to change. being in a small town we have people trying to be "gansta" and failing and when they try they hurt those around them we NEED to learn and then the world will be like your essay.
 
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Theresa This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 21, 2009 at 11:41 pm:
This was a great piece. It was written in a unique style, and the concept was great. I loved the ending.
 
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hshore said...
Feb. 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm:
why do people feel comfortable using the word retard? It's just wrong and demeaning to people with special needs.
 
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Kayla S. said...
Mar. 1, 2009 at 1:09 am:
i love this! in a way it relates to me because i live in a small town with some narrow minded people. they tend to be more than malicious towards me because of my ethnicity. thank u so much for helping me see it.
 
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smartest/in/class said...
Feb. 27, 2009 at 3:12 am:
This is true for both boys and girls i know. I get picked on all the time cause i finish in 10 minutes while it takes everyone else an hour. I may have only had to read this for class but it brought me in with every word. you right really pationatly.
 
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annie said...
Feb. 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm:
hey i really liked your article....it's so true!!
 
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TweedleDee said...
Feb. 25, 2009 at 11:33 pm:
you go girl!!! that's the way to tell them! great article i can totally relate! you rock :)
 
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Kaylan H. said...
Feb. 23, 2009 at 8:13 pm:
i really like how you write. it's unique and u bring up some very good points. we all know the world u live in and right now im in it. i stopped tryin to fit in a long time ago too. people like that just bite and are goin no where with their lives. And I REALLY like the ending one. keep writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =D
 
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tashakishka said...
Feb. 20, 2009 at 3:30 am:
Wow really good job. I loved the way you wrote it!
 
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holly B. said...
Feb. 19, 2009 at 12:55 am:
wow i know what u mean on this
 
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Sitav said...
Feb. 6, 2009 at 8:45 pm:
Thanks guys, this really means a lot. =)
 
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