Coming back from the last few weeks have been tough. Each day I wake up wondering how people see me more than ever. I wonder if they base their judgement of me solely on my race, the curls in my hair, or my accent. As I sit on the train feeling alienated and quite frankly like an outsider, I recall a time where I felt just like I do today. When I was about 5 years old, I moved to Barbados and it was the hardest transition of my life to this day. Although the culture was similar to my Guyanese heritage, nothing felt similar. I don’t even think people saw me the same. I was different and people treated me as such. I was bullied and outcasted for being different; no one wanted to be friends with the girl who spoke or looked very different.
If I had known history would repeat itself, I would have paid more attention to how I dealt with it all then. I would have told myself to pay attention to the ways I kept my morale high, and the ways I found hope. As I look to my past for advice and answers to share about how we can all adjust to this part of our history, I find myself at a loss. Many of us have faced discrimination, bullying, and plain hate, but we thought things would different by now. Here at City Tech, we have such a diverse community. The hallways echo with many different languages and origins. The cafeteria offers various types of foods, students are mixed, and it is all working ecosystem. We all intertwine and coexist peacefully but in a time where that harmony is being disrupted, how do we adjust to this?
I think we have to take steps forward to accept the fate we have been given no matter how hard it is to swallow. Do not get me wrong, this does not mean to just let things be the way they have planned but to organize how we will move forward. When I was being bullied for being different, I tried to better myself not for others to like me but for myself. I looked to myself for comfort and compassion. In a world where not much is promised we can always seem to count on ourselves and our inner strength. We must count on ourselves to do better. What I mean by this is adjusting to this period in history will not be an easy road, but we must look deep within ourselves and figure out what we really want and deserve. As I remember the frightened little girl I used to be, I recall that I would tell myself that it would get better because I would make it better. We educated one another on smarter ways to advocate for our rights and we collaborate on efforts to spread positivity. Together, we can change this! Let’s adjust to the idea that we can change this and we have to make smarter choices moving forward.