My life growing up in California has continually been shaped by the fact that I’m a Muslim Pakistani American. I’m faced with the same day-to-day challenges as any other boy my age, but the way I meet them is very different because of my culture and religion. The way I choose to live my life often seems unusual to my peers, and as a result, my principles are sometimes questioned. One thing that seems to set me the farthest apart is that my culture and religion do not accept the American concept of dating. Any teenager living in America knows how big an emphasis is placed on having boyfriends or girlfriends, both in society and in the media. On television any show that’s meant for a teenage audience covers the topic of dating nearly a hundred times. At school it’s the only thing kids seem to talk about. Thus you can see how significant the fact that I don’t date is in my life and how hard it makes it just to fit in. (MORE)


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