Monday, December 8, 2008

Dropping Out of School Because of Bullies

Q: I feel as if everyone hates me at school. I’m tired of being bullied. I feel like dropping out.

A: Don’t give up – I promise there is more to life than what lies inside your school walls. Unfortunately, you’ll never know if you give up and drop out now. Being bullied is a very hard thing to go through, and for having the strength to make it through this far I commend you. People often tell those of us who get picked on to tell a teacher or talk to the principle, but that doesn’t always work. So what do you do? Let’s look at this step-by-step.

First, bullies usually pick on people they see as “weak” or “unconfident.” People don’t usually single out the quarterback or valedictorian to make fun of. I have learned that the quickest way to make people stop picking on you is self-confidence. Easier said than done, eh? But it’s not as hard as you would think. When I first hit high school, I was scared to death. I had always been a pretty outgoing person, but I was never really classified as “cool.” People always made fun of my hair, or my clothes, or my complete lack of athletic ability. But I stopped worrying about what other people said or thought, and found something I loved to help me through – acting.

Now, I’ve never exactly been what you would call a good actress, but through drama I found a world I never knew existed – one where I was actually accepted for who I was, no questions asked. And somewhere between time on stage, in the chorus, and time backstage with the other actors and stage crew, I found the self-confidence and ability to let all those negative comments bounce right off of me that I never thought I’d have. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true – all you need is a little more self-confidence and the whole world can change for you!

So what’s the moral? No, not that drama can abolish bullies from schools all over the world – that’s just wishful thinking. Sadly, there will always be people who think they are better than you, and feel the need to prove it through cruelty. The point is, the only way they can make you feel bad about yourself is if you let them. So find something you love, something you can throw yourself into, and something you are (relatively) good at. Once you see you can actually do something worthwhile, and that you really are as special as God made you to be, you may be pleasantly surprised at how school suddenly doesn’t seem like such a task to get through. Who knows, you may even end up liking it!

Maureen D.