significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. –

significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
Academic Level Bachelor
From my psychology class I learned that cliques are typically formed by teenagers. These groups form when people who lack self-confidence find
each other in a similar setting and use the power Of the group to appear superior to others. It is surprising that this immature behavior is as commo
in workplaces as it is in junior high schools. My school is no exception. Our student body is very diverse. and all Of the cliques are created
depending on their members’ home countries. I came to Fairmont With certain expectations from the student brochure. picturing groups Of
international friends hanging out on the lawns. However. I could not imagine the large barriers between the Vietnamese. Korean. and Chinese
groups. mostly based on income. not to mention the domestic students Who always stay together. My main mistake was that I chose to conform to
this system.
First. I got to Know the incoming freshmen Who were domestic students. and then students from China. yet With time we began to part ways.
Receiving zero initiative from them. my insides panicked and I forced myself to become part of a Russian-speaking group. I was basically trying to
find my comfort zone. just like the other students were. I stayed in this group peacefully until junior year. when I started to loathe myself. I faced a lo
ijokes and teasing from my friends When I tried to express conflicting opinions. I began to conform and slowly started to lose my own voice. My
peers judged me based on the interests Of my group. and generalized me as though “all Russians in our school are the same.”
The turning point for me was When my classmate from English CP refused to talk to me just because people from the Russian group humiliated her.
Desperately trying to explain that l was not like them. I began to understand that l was not perceived as myself anymore. but as part of a group.
Trying to break free. I began to reach out to people in my classes. initiating conversations and maximizing my charisma. My friends were wondering
Why I didn’t spend lunchtime With them anymore. but instead alternating between my tennis teammates and Key Club members.
The biggest part Of my transition was rehearsing for the school musical and play. As is often the case. drama students are very creative and Open t
neW ideas. Consumed by the vibrant body Of inspiring individuals. I began to feel like my own self again. and nobody referred to me as a “girl from
the Russian group” anymore. I surrounded myself With diverse friends from various cultural backgrounds so nobody would generalize me by any
Despite my transformation. it was unfortunate to see my friends continuously clinging to their groups. Some viewed this as a problem and wanted t.
enlarge their circle Of friends by getting out Of their cliques. As the 2016 talent shOW approached. I decided to enter and to give a meaningful
performance. I decided to sing in the 7 different languages that are spoken in our school. I wanted to shOW that diversity should be encouraged. no
avoided. Students should not be afraid to get to knOW other cultures.
I can not emphasize enough hOW joyful I felt When people Of different backgrounds sang along With me. As I concluded my performance. the majori
of the students joined together to sing the popular song “You Exist In My Song” by Wanting Qu. This memorable performance marked my transition
into an adult. Understanding that I am self-sufficient and that l have my own voice is What maintains my individuality. and therefore maintains my
motivation to persuade others to welcome diversity and to leave an impact on my community. m

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