Updated: Oct 10, 2020
Being a military kid gives you experiences that give you a different view. It depends where you go.
For example, moving overseas gives you a different experience than just moving in the states. I moved overseas twice. After five years of my first overseas move, I moved back to Kentucky. Those were my first two years back in the U.S. While I was there, 95% of the kids had never lived overseas. There were about 3 Asian kids in total, myself included. Since I lived in Korea for 2nd to 6th grade, my main memories were made there. The school was on a military base. The students in Kentucky didn’t really understand why I only talked about Asia. They thought it was kind of weird.
They made very stereotypical comments, and instead of letting it bother me, I made it a joke. When asked me if I was from North or South Korea, I’d say I was a North Korean spy. This was funny at the time, but looking back at it, it’s sad. It’s sad how this was the way I made sure no one got to me. Even as a military kid, everyone has a different experience. You learn how to survive going to a new school and how to make new friends. But some people don’t learn how to deal with people who aren’t very nice to the minority.
Whether you go to a school on or off base, there’s always gonna be some sort of discrimination. I only survived those two years back in America by making all the stereotypical (and sometimes racist) things they said into a joke. I made it "my thing." When you move overseas, you learn that those comments can get you into deep trouble. You have to watch your words. Moving around gives you an experience, but not everyone gets the same kind. The students at that Kentucky school didn’t know what it was like to be overseas in Asia, so they didn’t know better. The fault can also be placed on myself. Everyone in any situation experiences different things.
Its ok to be different and have all these experiences. That's what makes you, you. People will think its weird, but don't let that take you down. Take it as a compliment. Your experiences will open your eyes to a world that people may not know of. This gives you the power to speak up about it. Speak up against the wrong ideas people may have, or even correct them.
People will sooner or later find what you know to be something interesting, and they might even want to learn more about the places you've been to.
Remember, everyone has different experiences, but that makes you, you. Talk about your experiences, because some people may have gone through something similar. Don't let anyone get you down by telling you you're weird for talking about it. Be proud of the places that have shaped you.
This article was written by Lizzy B., a teen in South Korea. If you have a story you would like to share, please visit our WRITING page to learn how you can send us your work.