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Just Do It! - Breaking The Class Barrier This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   In articles written in The 21st Century last year, the subject of being different became a month to month series, as people began to write of their horror at being an outcast or sticking out. I remember that some said they put themselves in that postion. As of right now, I don't think that is true.

Segregation - a word that many may not know - means to place apart from others. In history, we are studying this as it refers to black segregation in the South. But, in a less severe sense, it is still happening today in our schools.

Have you noticed that we, as students, have set up a class system of our own. Our groups or cliques all hang around together and there seems to be a certain standard to fit in. The supposed outsiders sit at one table and the jocks at another. Some of us, including me, have suffered through this class system. Some are outcast for being part of an organization. Why can't people enjoy what they want to do without being judged?

This is degradation of our youth. I find it insulting to judge someone or to be judged. It seems we are constantly saying, "Oh, can you believe that he or she would wear that!" or "Can you believe he acts like that in gym?" Unfortunately, we, as peers, are looking for ways to degrade one another, which is separating us into our own class system. To what degree are we able to judge someone else?

I would like to know who tells whom where they belong. Can someone explain why we are segregated in such a way? I think in some way we have all segregated people or been segregated. So, if we all know how it feels, why won't someone stand up and stop it?

Believe me, the person who sits next to you in French class might be someone you should really try to meet. So what if she or he plays sports or is in the band or does some activity that you think only losers do. Stop thinking about that and try to say hello. And just think, at one time or another, you were that person wishing someone would say a simple "Hello."

I was reading Rolling Stone recently and an advertisement was on the back for Reebok: "Too often we are scared ... scared of what people might think if we tried ... Risk it ... you have nothing to lose and everything, everything, everything to gain. Just do it."

My advice to you is to go out and try to break this social system we have so dutifully locked ourselves into. Ask the football captain to the prom. At least you can say you did it. Who cares what everyone thinks? Don't hold back because you are afraid what they may think. Just go out there and cut the strings that hold us into these social groups.

Break the barrier and "Just Do It." n


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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