Freshman Speaks on Experience as Minority in Small High School


Juan Alba, Reporter

In this small town area, there’s not much diversity. Growing up as a minority brings several various factors to shaping a student. People’s actions and reactions to someone who is different can impact a single person more than they think.

I think people should consider the questions they ask before saying anything and think how they could affect another person.

— Juan Alba

In a classroom you would think that a teacher would never cause trouble for you, but being a minority changes everything. I felt like I was treated differently from other students by a teacher before. This teacher seemed angry or annoyed by my presence, while other students never had to face the situations I’ve been through with the same teacher. Students around the classroom also observed that the teacher would treat me differently.
As a minority, people around you always make assumptions. When I tell others that I am Mexican they assume that I know Spanish or how to cook a good Mexican dish. Just because someone is born in a certain household doesn’t mean that they know everything about their own culture. Although I did grow up knowing Spanish, some Mexican people don’t know anything about their own language; People asking them multiple different questions they don’t even know the answers to. I think people should consider the questions they ask before saying anything and think how they could affect another person.
Being a part of a certain culture means plenty of questions are asked. Some people ask me about life in a Mexican household, how to speak Spanish, making cultural dishes or how my trips to Mexico are. I love answering all the questions and some times they can relate in a different way.
One really big part about being a Mexican American is everyone asking how to say certain words in Spanish. Although I love helping others learn more Spanish, people will most likely only know how to say the word for a few minutes and just forget about the whole conversation we had. I don’t only get asked certain questions about how to say certain words, but I also get asked to speak Spanish in general. I‘ve never liked being asked to speak Spanish in front of others because I always feel like others would think I’m weird or different. I had an experience with a teacher who asked the only two Mexicans in the classroom to say sentences to each other even though Spanish had nothing to do with the class. Although I didn’t want to speak in front of the class, I felt obligated to because we were the only two who spoke Spanish.
Being a minority brings many problems, but there are always solutions to those problems. Don’t be afraid to show who you really are and always express the true you.