When it comes to fitting in versus being unique, it’s always best to use one’s own judgment. However, during middle school years, and high school years, I found it cumbersome to be different from everyone else. Although I got along with everyone, I didn’t know which social group I belonged to, because I didn’t fit in with either one of them.
Often, for the students who have difficulty with fitting in, life can be challenging, both at home and in school, particularly when parents and peers place expectations on a person.
Many times, parents expect a child to get into the kinds of professions dictated to them, instead of letting the child get involved with activities or professions of interest to themselves.
In school, many times, it’s the students who dictate the standards, not the adults. I know from first hand experience thru dealing with such things. When I first started attending middle school back in the fall of 1981 at some little country school outside of Kalamazoo, I was often shunned by the other students, because I didn’t wear the brands of clothing they wore. My first and last names were foreign, and they didn’t like my looks. They had a problem with everything about me. Therefore, I wasn’t accepted in any social circle.
On the first full day of school, the other girls in my graduating class were playing hop scotch, Chinese jacks, Chinese jump rope or tag. I approached them asking if I could join them, but they told me they already had enough people, and snickered about me amongst themselves as I was walking away. I never felt more alone in my life. The same thing happened when I approached some children playing on the monkey bars or on the swings.
Due to all the rejection by my peers, I gave up trying to be sociable, and walked over to the entrance of the school, waiting for the bell to ring so I could scurry inside the school, go to my locker, collect my textbooks and materials, and hurry into the my classroom where I could keep busy with my studies.
For the days following the painful incident on the playground, I took my textbooks out to the playground during lunch hour and any other time we had recess, so I would have something to do to occupy my time until the bell rang for all of us students to go back inside the school to report to our classes.
My peers rejecting me at school lead to my becoming suicidal during my teenage years. I hated being who I was. I remember praying to the Lord on several occasions to make me look physically acceptable to my peers so I could be accepted and fit in with them.
When I got into high school, I focused more and more on my studies, maintaining descent grades, making the honor roll. It did get me noticed by my peers as being smart. Although I gained their respect, it still didn’t get me included in their activities outside of school, because they didn’t think I was the type of girl who went to parties or engaged in the other kinds of activities they did.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015