The 21st-century 20-something

Monday, July 16, 2012

It gets me

There's been a lot of talk about bullying lately. And as usual, I feel the need to address it.

From Cuomo signing a new law against cyberbullying, to the appalling Karen Klein incident, kids these days seem to have become especially cruel and vicious.

Most high schoolers have experienced bullying on some level, from verbal rumors and gossip to genuine threats or acts of physical violence.

When I was in high school, I can fortunately say I was never bullied to the extent many kids are today -- but I had observed bullying of varying degrees.

I just want to take this opportunity to say to all kids in high school -- IT GETS BETTER.

Familiar term? The It Gets Better Project began in 2010 with a YouTube video posted by columnist Dan Savage letting LGBT teens know that although they may be getting bullied and harassed for their gets better.

Then the movement exploded and celebrities all over began posting videos encouraging teens to stay positive about the future and stay strong if experiencing bullying.

While it started out as a movement addressing gay teens -- when you think about it -- it really applies to everyone.

Kids are bullied for their weight, family situations, ethnicity, disabilities, clothes, hair, the music they listen to -- basically anything.

I challenge you to find someone who wasn't made fun of or bullied on some level throughout their teen years. I certainly wasn't spared a fat joke or two.

And let's face it, if you reached your peak in high school you're going to be pretty disappointed for the better part of your life.

Graduating high school is a freeing experience for most people -- whether you're attending college, joining the workforce, or backpacking through Europe -- you are officially an adult and can make your own choices! It's a beautiful thing.

So anyone struggling with bullying or gossip, my advice is to think ahead. Spend your time figuring out what you want to do with your life and focus on that. Spend your time pursuing your interests and doing what makes you feel good.

How popular you were and what you looked like in high school will have absolutely no effect on your life after you walk across that stage and are handed that diploma. None.

I think it takes way too much energy to harbor negative feelings against someone who does you wrong or stoop to their level, but take comfort in this: the jerks that are bullying you will get bad karma ten-fold. Whether they end up working at Taco Bell forever, get stuck in a terrible marriage, or get mauled by a rabid fox 10 years from now...they'll get what's coming to them.

How about you?

Did you experience bullying as a teen? Has it gotten better for you?

Any and all advice is welcome!


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