Throughout my life, my experience with bullies has varied considerably. When I was younger it would include not letting you sit at their table or play with them but, as I got to middle school, it became more malicious. Mainly, it was girls talking about each other, putting other girls down and making fun of them. I am now in high school and can report, the principles of it have not changed.
In eighth grade, I began standing up for myself. This was when I realized I had every right to be me; this is my life, and it had almost nothing to do with those other kids. I started dying my hair, I got a lip ring that summer, and I let go of all of the negativity I could (mean friends, unnecessary drama, etc.) I put all my concentration into school and my future which allowed me to occupy my thoughts with positive things instead of what people were saying. This was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It was the first time I excelled in all my subjects, and I made a close friend a lot like myself.
By the end of the year, I had won about 98% of the awards given out at graduation; the other 2% was given to me after because they didn’t engrave my name into the trophies. I felt on top of the world, all those kids that were so superficial and thought that drama and looks were what mattered had their jaws dropped to the floor. Still, I received negative comments, one person tried to trip me and said: “Are you tired of going up on stage yet?” Luckily, I did not fall, and I gracefully kept walking and responded “No.”
Fast forward to high school and it has been difficult to find people like me so I did not have anyone like my friend in 8th grade once the comments started but I stuck to the same strategy. My transition into high school was not that great. I found a hard time focusing freshmen year, finding my place, and people like me. I soon realized my school did not offer many of the opportunities that I was looking for, but that’s a story for a different time. The beginning of high school was tough for me, and it took me a while to find myself again, I think I still am. I am working on my classes and putting aside those comments because at the end of the day I am the one that has to live with myself, and I know who I am, no matter what anyone says. I do not need anyone’s approval.
I noticed that the comments seemed to impact me the most when I was most vulnerable. I have learned that what people say does not hurt unless you let it. You need to find your inner confidence and strength, or else you begin to believe what they say, and that is a downwards spiral to a place no one should be. If you are confident and sure of yourself, you realize that those comments come from their insecurities, jealousy, and it only reflects poorly on the people saying it.
Stay true to who you are, believe in yourself and do not let them get to you.