Becoming myself again

Returning to Coppell brings out true me


Gabby Nelson

The Sidekick staff writer Umama Suriya edits May issue pages during fifth period on May 10. Suriya states after moving back to Coppell from Round Rock, journalism helped her build the confidence she had once lost. Photo by Gabby Nelson.

Umama Suriya, Staff Writer


She sits there on a desk surrounded by her classmates, silent and looking at her laptop. Trying to work, can’t focus, constantly nodding her head yes to every person who asked her if she was OK.

I was born in Pakistan in 2002 and moved to California in 2004, when I was only about 18 months old. From Pakistan to Southern California, I eventually ended up in Texas. I went to school from third to sixth grade in Coppell. But this town brought many negatives into my life at first.

I was always a very happy person, and I found the positives in every situation, but I was looked down on for that throughout my entire life. However, much of it happened in Coppell. As I grew up, people would always say, “Umama, act more like your age.” I would always nod my head and act like that didn’t affect me.

The truth was it did.

That transitioned me into a girl I wasn’t. I wasn’t being myself, even though I could not explain to anyone who I became.

When I moved away from Coppell after sixth grade, Round Rock, Texas became my new home and safe place.

After going to school there for four years and finding the right group of people, I wasn’t ready to leave a place I knew I could call home with no hesitation.

The summer when we were moving back to Coppell, I thought about my past and how people treated me; the only image in my head was of people treating me horribly or calling me names because of who I was.

I wasn’t ready to go back to a place that contained some people who made me so unhappy. That thought in my head made me make the worst mistake in my life.

I decided to shut myself off in social situations. I promised myself I wouldn’t talk unless someone started a conversation and I would stay silent.

I would always sit on my desk, pondering about life, keeping to myself. That itself was very hard for me since I’ve always been a very bubbly and talkative person.

Coming back to Coppell, I noticed I met the same people I used to know at Mockingbird Elementary and Coppell Middle School East. They don’t say anything to me anymore. I still shut myself out.

But this year, my junior year, I found something so dearly close to me – something I never knew I would love so much until now.


This year, I am a part of both The Sidekick and KCBY-TV, which was a lot for me.

These classes taught me that it is OK to talk to people and show who you truly are. People I’ve worked with throughout the year have taught me if people don’t like you for who you are, those people don’t deserve to have you in your life.

That realization was life-changing for me.

Interviewing and talking to people who I’ve never talked to, or are hard to contact because of their position, improved my ways of communication when it came to professionalism.

My two journalism classes and the people they consisted of truly helped me get better in social situations and turned me into the person I am today.

Without those two programs, I don’t know if I would have ever become who I actually was again.

Overall, I have improved a lot when it comes to dealing with social situations, and journalism has played a huge role in making that happen.

I’ve learned throughout this year every place always brings you some great people you are going to meet and cherish for the rest of your life, and the past is the past.

There’s no reason to think of the people in the past when you can think of the people who stick with you now, in the present.

Follow Umama on Twitter at @umisuriya.