It is weird; people think, because of the color of my skin and my ability to speak Spanish, that I am Hispanic. They always look confused when I introduce myself as Mohammad. I speak Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish and Hindi. I have always loved learning languages, and I mostly liked going to school. I liked the buzz of people all around; but like a buzzing bee, some- times the people at school stung. I went to a different school before my current one. At my old school, people bullied me. They would force me to buy them things, and make me give them my homework. If I didn’t do what they said, they would threaten me and try to fight me. I was usually able to stop the fighting by finding an adult, but it wasn’t a way I wanted to spend my days at school. Some people eventually became my friends, but then they started rumors about me. Not everyone believed the rumors, but they still hurt me. I just wanted to learn, but the kids at my old school made it so hard. Whenever I watched movies that took place in a school, I would always imagine being that character and living a different life than the one I was living. There was nothing I wanted more in life than to switch schools, but at the same time I did not want to lose the friends I had made. The day my parents told me we were moving, I was both excited and nervous. I was going to go to a new school, and that can be scary when you are fifteen-years-old. However, nothing could be worse than what I had been through at my old school. I was happy because I could finally escape the torture that school had been for me. However, I was nervous that the bully- ing I had endured would happen again at my new school. I was also worried that it would be hard to make new friends that I could trust, since I had been in bad friendships in the past. When I walked into school on the first day, I was struck by the enormous size of the school, and how loud it was. Loud in a good way, like laughter and people having fun. I could feel a peaceful and positive vibe right when I walked in. I could tell the teachers were happy to have me in the class and the students were going to be friendly. I felt more at home with people from the same background and people who spoke the same language as me. Not only was I in classes with people who shared a similar background to mine, I was able to learn more about other cultures as well. I have loved the opportunity to get to know new people and learn so much without the problems that I had in the past. Walking into my new school was like being reborn as a new person. I could finally be myself without pretending to be someone I’m not. I realize now that sometimes when bad things happen in your past, it can make you stronger and appreciate things more. I am more satisfied with school than I ever was, and now I can get back to learning the things I have always wanted to learn. School is now everything I had always imagined and wanted it to be. School now is like in the movies I have seen and the books I have read. I am also enjoying living the original version of myself. I always want to be happy and carefree, but problems in my past made it hard for me to be that person.
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