In my experience, being born with such a quirky mind and well-being sometimes made me incredibly lonely since no one understood me. Looking back on the past and growing up to this day, I’m glad I realized the younger version of me shouldn’t be friends with those mean, bully classmates, but rather stand up for myself for the right.
One of the things I regret most is the school year, if you ask me. I was able to see the problems I had when I was 6 and the years following. The truth is, I hate school, I hate being confronted with bullies and mean classmates who abuse my good deeds. Throughout elementary school, I was so quiet and weak that I didn’t understand. When I entered junior high, I was always annoyed by a girl who made me laugh until I cried. I met some good friends, I talked to them a lot, but we didn’t get along for very long.
The days flew by until I entered high school; for me, high school is like a pre-adult version of everyone at the school. Girls showing their talents, makeup, glamorous things they have, preferences, etc. It’s a little different with guys. Again, I fit right in. There was barely anyone to connect with as they formed a group of friends with similar senses, and I wasn’t in that circle. Thankfully, I had a friend I could count on to avoid having no friends and no one to talk to. However, high school was the time when I cried the most because I was lonely, and could not fit into any group of friends. As a high school senior, the last year was a whirlwind of school work and college entrance exams. I couldn’t study anything, and I was thinking about studying abroad as my parents prepared. As I prayed every day, I asked the Gods to help me get a visa. I am grateful that I managed to get a visa at the right time. I then flew to Canada to study that fall. As luck would have it, when I arrived in Canada I met genuine, good friends and we had an incredibly great time at school supporting and making fun of each other. My first year in Canada was even better than my eleven years of schooling in my native country. I would also like to thank myself for being strong enough to face the problem; sometimes I thought it was a miracle that I was able to go through those hard years. Thanks to God as well.
Being all by yourself can sometimes be beneficial as well as ethical. By that I mean that you won’t be confused and distracted by someone else’s interference with your conscience and strong belief in something. Countries like Western world place importance on being sole, independent, and determined towards any topic or issue. There are benefits to collectivism in Asian cultures, such as to support and help each other. Yet, collectivism can harm us, as I mentioned above, by dividing our conscience, our ethics, our morality, etc. to conform to what most people think and believe.
Having no one to turn to for support and relying solely on your own thoughts is emotionally torturous, I understand that. I have seen examples in school, the workplace, and even in families. Bandwagons divide relationships, the so-called ‘norm’ that separates us. We must think the same, act the same as other kids to fit in, not to be isolated at school. The same thing happens at the workplace, especially in monoculture organizations. My family, for example, makes sure that children and nephews respect their parents and grandparents; otherwise, we’re on the hook for punishment.
Those who are successful in this world don’t know which side they will take. The uniqueness, the craziness, the one-and-only, the innovation, and the pioneering spirit that lead the world into a new age are what I see in them. Living in a world with limitless possibilities, where we create another platform apart from Earth’s ground for people to differentiate themselves, further and further. This makes me believe they are individualists, with the mission of a better world for everyone. So they don’t follow the norm; they fight for their conscience and keep researching and inventing non-stop. God doesn’t let them down until a bottom line, a right time, and a right place when people gradually realize the value of the people they used to call “nerdy brainiacs, aliens, unrealistic thinkers”. However, they have to call them “possible innovative doers”.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both individualism and collectivism. The issue, rather, is their nature. We need to strike a balance, select the strengths, and eliminate the weaknesses. I hope to prove to other people that I am no longer the weak, shy, fearful girl you used to know. Family support has given me more power than ever.