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The Apache Pow Wow

Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses

Anabell Xu, Staff Writer

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Sixth grade was an absolutely terrifying time for me. Gone were the days of childish glee over five minutes of homework, in with the sudden explosion of hormones and “drama”. By the end of eighth grade, I was so fed up with the slew of this supposed drama that I felt like smothering myself with a textbook to get away.

Unfortunately, it seems like you will never be able to escape the constant flow of “she said this” or “he did that” that seems to permeate every middle school conversation. Through this rather distorted gossip I would instantly form opinions on people whom I barely knew, and acted on them during class. This was usually in the form of subtle eye rolls and the immediate “Oh, I don’t want to partner with you” kind of feelings.

Call it ignorance, naivety, or the fact that the average middle school brain seems to be the size of a pea, but never once did it cross my mind that perhaps this “drama” I kept hearing about wasn’t always quite true. Instead, I would blindly listen to any piece of gossip and form my own prejudices about people who probably were much nicer than I made them out to be. Through this, I only saw their nasty sides. I only saw their annoying attitudes, strange actions, and saw these people as ones that I would never want to be associated with. Apparently, that person was too strange, too cocky, too annoying, so I put on my rose-tinted glasses, ignored everything that contradicted my prior beliefs, and amplified the actions that supported them.

Conversely, I would smooth over my friends’ flaws, write off their annoying actions as just “a one-time thing,” put their accomplishments and positive traits on a pedestal, and even completely ignore blatant issues with their personalities just because I liked them and they were my friends.

Then the elections started.

It’s scary to see how many people acted like they were in middle school again—making immediate judgments about people without really knowing them, treating people horribly just because of something they like or how they act. Everywhere I looked were rose-tinted glasses. They were on parents, on politicians, on students, on regular, normal people who now saw everyone who they perceived to be wrong as ignorant and everyone they liked as perfect and flawless.

Terrified by the scene unfolding in front of me and horrified at the thought that I could be one of these people in the rose-tinted glasses, I tried to strike up a conversation with one of the people who I had judged so harshly in middle school. It was odd, to say the least. I could feel the sixth-grader in me screaming. But in the end, she was polite, cool, and we ended the conversation on a decently awkward note. It turns out that the middle school conversations were pretty wrong, after all.

Since then, I’ve tried to take off my rose-tinted glasses and see the world as it really is. It’s been difficult, and I don’t know if I will ever be able to let go of my prejudice and preemptive judgments, but it’s something I’m willing to try. Prejudice, hate, and stereotypes are everywhere and seem to affect everything, from the violent riots in Washington to our own houses. In a time where unity and understanding are growing increasingly important, we must try to remove our rose-tinted glasses and see the world as it really is, maybe even hold a conversation with someone who we normally wouldn’t talk to.

So go on! Try to talk to someone who you didn’t like in middle school. It’s time for all of us to grow up and learn from our middle school selves, and letting go of the stereotypes and judgments we still hold from then is the best way to realize what it truly means to be an adult.

Photo courtesy of HIVEMINER.COM

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The World Is Our Campus
Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses