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Quest for Acceptance

If history has taught us anything, it’s that not everyone can get along. I had to learn this the hard way during my years in school. This is my story of how I overcame social prejudice that always occurs in elementary school through high school.

When I entered kindergarden, I thought everyone could get along. I was wrong. I had bad allergies and throughout elementary school, kids made fun of me. I was liked by teachers because I was nice and understood the material. Other kids didn’t like me and I didn’t understand why. They teased me and beat me up. I was always taught if I was nice to others, others would be nice to me. All I wanted was to be included, but that wouldn’t be in Elementary school. I was diagnosed with aspergers syndrome, a mental disorder that impairs one’s natural social skills and makes one very routine based. I had a minor case and was not put in special needs, but I still felt the effects. I didn’t know how to talk to people and had no athletic talent whatsoever. This would hurt me for some time to come.

By middle school, things changed a slight bit. I developed new interests that introduced me to new people. I made a few new friends, but even more new enemies. By seventh grade, I pretty much lost it and had had enough of it. I struck back at people and sometimes acted out with unnecessary violence when I got scared. Puberty hit and I didn’t know how to talk to girls. What had come naturally to most of my peers had to be taught to me, and there are no formulas for love. When eighth grade came, I earned some respect from my peers, but there were still those who made fun of me. I was glad to be rid of middle school.

My freshman year of high school was enjoyable, but it hit me hard and taught me a bit about life. I met two friends who exposed me to the real world. I learned street smarts from them and made plenty of other new friends. Girls still found me creepy and the popular crowd made fun of me behind my back. After a few exchanges of fists, people learned that I could defend myself. I earned the respect of my teammates on the wrestling team. Near the end of sophomore year, I was living large. I had improved in wrestling, and started acting class. Through these activities, I made new friends. But things were soon to change.
Junior year rewrote the rules for me. I lost a few close friends that year and one girl hurt me badly. The wrestling team changed, and that particular girl seemed like she was trying to make life hard for me. New people who were big-time football players joined the team and made the team a more clique-based environment. After being injured, treated poorly, and sexually harassed in the shower, I lost it and quit the team. After I quit, life improved within the next few weeks. I talked to friends who understood, and found that theatre was where I belonged.
When I entered my senior year, the effects of the previous year’s drama were non-existent. I became a theatre geek, in a nutshell, and found acceptance amongst stage crew and other actors in the play as well as acting class.
The people from the wrestling team gave me no trouble and the popular crowd stayed off my back. I developed a new circle of friends who I get along with. Through acting class, I met my first girlfriend, and we are now dating. I am friends with people from different types of cliques and backgrounds. My closest friends aren’t popular, but we get along, and that’s all that matters. My past wasn’t too fun and I suffered through a lot of pain, emotionally, physically, and psychologically. But it made me a better person and gave me something to write about. I would consider myself an accepted kid amongst my classmates and I couldn’t ask for anything more. Life is good.





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