On Making Assumptions

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Courtesy of Chronos Solutions

Over my life I have had the chance to attend many different schools and meet a variety of incredibly interesting people. This opportunity has opened my eyes to the many religions and ethnicities of people in this world. I have learned that everyone has their own amazing story to tell about where they have come from, how their religious journey has changed their life, and how they have overcome stereotypes. Personally, I have witnessed and experienced stereotypes myself. Both of my parents are Jewish, and while I do not often follow the practices of Judaism, I fully respect the religion and am interested in it.  For all of my life I have attended schools and lived in towns where the large majority of the kids practice some sort of Christianity. Being the odd one out has came with many stereotypical jokes and comments about jews. I have always found these remarks to be very ignorant. No one person is exactly alike to another, and being part of the same religion does not make you the same as any other person who is also a part of it. You can not paint a whole people with one brush. I have learned in time to cope with the jokes, because I know they are just due to ignorance and lack of education. That is why I believe in this cause so much.

In the seventh grade I entered a private school called the Hun School of Princeton which has the reputation of having many students which are very wealthy, and therefore thought to be snotty. I transferred to this school from a public school, and I believed the reputation of the school. From getting to know all of the kids in a smaller environment, I learned that while a lot of them were very fortunate, they were no different than my friends anywhere else. Obviously, there were some exceptions, but I came to the realization that everyone is essentially the same.

Through all of my experiences I have recognized that there is almost nothing more important than getting to know everyone despite the stereotypical thoughts about their religion, skin color, ethnicity, wealth, and sexuality. I have made countless friends because I have put these preconceived thoughts about people behind and embraced life with an open mind.

-Jenifer Miller