…and it can have a more serious impact
What is it all about
We all know that high school can be a time of excitement, happiness and pretty much discovering a lot of aspects of ones’ self, as it is a highly transitional period, but a lot of kids experience high school as traumatic because, unfortunately, bullying has grown to be a huge and very often occurring issue in modern times.
Although this is a very important topic, this article is not going to discuss that. The focus of this article is bullying in College.
People enter college in early adulthood, when most of them have pretty much formed an adequate self-image; some of them might have low self esteem or confidence and might be feeling uncomfortable with their image but most of them enter college with the assumption that since they are going to be surrounded by adults there is going to be a general climate of acceptance, regardless of how they look, or how they think they look. Honestly, I wish this was the case, but due to certain personal experience, sadly, I realized that it is not, and while bullying in high school is a terrible experience, bullying in college can have direct consequences on somebody’s future.
This could make a great research paper or dissertation, but since this is a blog I am going to try to pass my message through narrating how I experienced it and the impact it had on me, hoping it is going to help young people copy with it by viewing it through my perspective.
I am currently in my senior year in College, for those of you who haven’t read my bio or previous posts, I am majoring in Psychology, so the topic of stigmatizing, and generally psychologically attacking people, is a very important issue for me. As a senior I felt it was really important to engage in things that matter and that can make a difference, even on a small scale, because it seemed to me that studying and being a good student is not enough for me in order to develop into the person that I want to develop.
Subsequently, since last year I’ve been researching for ways through I could offer any skills or knowledge that I may have to people who would be interested in that.
In that context I decided to run for the student governing body of one of the societies of my college. After voting procedures I was assigned a position in that society, which I was extremely happy about since I really believed that me and the rest of the group could reach out to people and raise awareness of certain issues. What I didn’t know back then is that people, for whatever reason, find it very fascinating to talk behind peoples’ backs and saying things about you that have no basis, without even stopping for a second to consider what kind of psychological impact that might have on a person.
I don’t really hang out with many people from College, not because I don’t like them, just because I was always very concentrated in attending my courses, doing my job, studying, and I also spend a lot of time at school with my boyfriend so I don’t really know many people. Thus, you can understand that it came as a surprise to me when I learned that people who I have no idea who they are have been talking about me, spreading rumors that could have serious impact on my future.I was blamed from members of this society about things that did not even make sense, and although they seemed to be very supportive when I came out and expressed my indignation about people making up things, and I told them about how this has made me feel horrible about myself and led me to hold myself accountable for things I didn’t do, they still went ahead and spread more rumors blaming me for even more things that I haven’t done.
I continued doing my job in this society, without being aware at that time about the things being said behind my back, until I was publicly humiliated at my workplace, in front of my co-workers and my boss because I said I couldn’t change my work hours (since we have a stable schedule). I never thought that, as an adult, I would have to spend 15 minutes crying in the bathroom but turns out THAT HAPPENED. FUN!
After this I realized that I had really lost myself. I was not in the mood to go to College anymore, I felt guilty for things that I haven’t done, I felt that people were looking at me and judging me, and honestly I just wanted to crawl under my blanket and cry all day. I came to the conclusion that this atmosphere was impacting my mental health much more than it should, and although I am not a quitter, I decided that I would never be able to make the difference that I want next to that kind of people. So I quit, and for the first time in months I felt like I am getting myself back. That was when I called the ONE friend that I had within this society, who experienced bullying as well from the same people and I did nothing about it because I was too afraid of conflict. People said that I was after another persons position while actually the person who spread that rumor was the one who was pushing in order for me to get that position when I honestly did not care about it.
I don’t like things being said behind people’s backs so i let that person know that I know what he/she said about me and that I am not interested in giving any continuation to this issue, I just wanted out of the society in order to continue my life next to people that really care about me. The result was that person yelling to me in front of my professor, and another 15 minutes of crying in the bathroom.
I don’t care about what people say anymore, I have the texts to prove who said what, but I am not interested. I just consider unacceptable the fact that I got bullied in front of my professor and my boss. It made me very vulnerable, and I spent some very hard hours contemplating on what had happened but it led me to some very important realizations.
First of all, if people speak about you behind your back it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. In fact it is probably the opposite. Just think that it is college and you don’t have to be friends with everyone, all you need to do is to focus on your studies and how to help yourself do the best that you can do.
You matter the most, and don’t let anyone make you doubt that. You don’t need to listen to anything that people have to say about you unless they are people who care about you and all they want is to help you improve. Your mental health is what matters the most and you don’t need to sacrifice it for any shallow person who is willing to bring you down. Protecting yourself should be your number one priority, and do not show them weakness like I did.
My point is that unfortunately we are going to encounter that kind of people in our life and we must find ways to deal with them without becoming depressed. Just think that a person who acts against someone without thinking that he might be putting that person’s job or academic life at stake maybe needs more help than you can imagine.
Turn your back on people who want you to compromise yourself and be who they want you to be.
Follow the link bellow to read 5 facts about bullying in College: https://www.verywell.com/facts-about-college-bullying-460487