Nayan Patel

As Interviewed by Anya Parag, on March 12, 2015

Nayan Patel: In His Own Words

I went to school in Anderson, South Carolina. From what I remember, bullying was pretty commonplace at that time, there was not much focus on bullying and the fact that bullying is bad, so I would say at least once a day I was getting bullied for something.

The challenges [of living in America] were around English, and that was all because of the language barrier. I struggled through English classes.

I couldn't really communicate that well, so there was really no fighting back [on bullying] . I kind of just had to a take it, a lot of times I didn't even quite understand what was being said! In a way, in a hindsight, that kind of worked out in my favor- I didn't even know what they [the bullies] were talking about.

Discrimination was almost part of the day to day culture. Although we live in 21st century, even in todayís day and age you'll find areas where there's a lot of racial tension over there and you kind of just get used to it. Once you stay in that environment for a while, it doesn't even bother you, and once you actually get out of there, and you go somewhere else- thatís when you start realizing, like, wow! There was... weird racial conflicts and stuff like that that took place at that time which you didn't think was an issue back then.

If I could go back in that environment . . . I could speak English now, I could communicate pretty easily, so it would be very different because now I know what its like in other parts of the country. I've traveled quite a bit, which kinda helps me understand, you know, what people are like everywhere else. SO I would react to things differently. The biggest difference was communication, so I would actually, probably speak up against bullying.