Imagine this – you walk into your elementary school classroom sporting the coolest outfit you could pull together. As you settle into your seat, you are confident that the clothing pieces you chose not only best represent your interests and likings but will also serve as a conversation starter. To your dismay, however, your classmates engage in conversation about you, not with you. Mission somewhat accomplished: the topic of discussion is your outfit.
Bullying is something I dealt with when I was in elementary school, and it was a very troubling and weird time in my life because the friends I had come to know did a complete 180 and became my bullies.
For example, when I brought a card game called Yu-Gu-Oh into class for show-and-tell, all my friends made fun of me for liking it; they even went as far as ripping some of my cards. I had bought those cards with my own money and was so disheartened to share an interest of mine with people I thought were my friends.
There were other times when people called me fat or chubby, and I’ll admit I was on the heavier side when I was younger, but that doesn’t make what they said permissible.
Bullying can happen at any age; nonetheless, I think it is most detrimental during one’s elementary and middle school years as people are learning what it means to grow up.
When I was a freshman in high school, I had peers who bullied this other first-year student to the point that they transferred high schools.
I think bullying fizzles out when you reach the later years of high school and are more of a young adult who knows better than to bully someone directly; that’s not to say petty drama or gossip won’t be a thing, but direct bullying tends to occur less.
Bullying has no merit whatsoever; bullies deem whatever you like as weird or insignificant. Bullies could try to impress their friends or show off in front of someone they admire. They could have a troubled home life, taking their anger and frustration out on the underdogs.
Regardless of why people bully others, taking your feelings out on others physically or verbally is unacceptable. I’m sure bullies would not like it if they were picked on for their appearance or interest, so why do it to others?
I initially tried to deal with my bullies like how people advise— tell a teacher or a parent. Unfortunately, no matter how often I got my teacher or parents involved, my bullies would continue to come back. I resolved to take matters into my own hands.
So, I enrolled in boxing lessons. Safe to say, I was never bothered again. While this is not the ideal approach, it was the only option that kept them away. I’m glad I chose to confront my bullies; it gave me a reason to become physically fit, and it also gave me thicker skin.