In the past few years, it seems like the term “bullying” has been thrown around non-stop. Most people don’t seem to really understand what it is, but I do.
When I was in elementary school, I was isolated, made fun of and miserable throughout my time there. Every day, I would go home crying. I thought that since no one seemed to like me, why should I like myself? My self-esteem was shot and my self-worth non-existent. My parents pulled me out of my elementary school and put me into a different middle school.
In middle school, even as I was going through my awkward, gawky middle school stage, I felt better about myself than I had in years. I still had to deal with remarks and isolation, but it wasn’t as bad because it seemed like that’s what everyone was going through then.
When I came to Webster Groves High School, I loved it. My freshmen year was great: I had friends that were there for me, classes that were fun and a community I could rely on. My sophomore year, I decided to become more involved, not only becoming the opinion columnist but also joining the dance team.
While I don’t regret these decisions, I do regret the attention that it has given me. At every assembly, every game and every time the paper comes out, I hear things from my classmates. I see people pointing and laughing at me as I dance.
I’m not going to pretend like this doesn’t upset me or that I don’t care what other people think. I do care and it does upset me that people like to make fun of me. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, to see or hear about other people constantly making fun of you.
Recently, something has occurred that has made me say, enough is enough. Since I was a freshman, I have dreamed about representing my school and the ECHO newspaper as a member of the Friendship Court. When I got the nomination, I was so proud of myself.
The day everyone voted though, I had people coming up to me throughout the day, saying that people in their classes were voting for me as a joke.
My first reaction? Total disbelief, because I never thought that people at Webster could really be that mean. Even if was only a few people who did it, it was hurtful and rude and you know what? I’ve had enough.
At first I considered not writing this but to be honest, this issue about bullying (because yes, this is bullying), isn’t just about me, because I see it everywhere.
We’re supposed to be in high school. Especially upperclassmen: you’re supposed to be preparing yourself for college, not still acting like we’re in middle school, with the practical “jokes” that aren’t funny, just mean.
There’s a difference between venting about someone or something that really upset you and simply going out of your way to be mean towards someone. The “let’s vote for Addie as a joke,” wasn’t a practical prank. It was a cruel joke, and I’m disgusted that Webster kids could be so awful.
Webster Groves High School students are so much better than this, and the bullying needs to end. People like to think it isn’t an issue in Webster, but you know what? It is.
Most people here seem to have an already has a pre-conceived idea of who a person is and what that person does, based on things that happened in the past.
Guess what? People change and maybe that’s what people should work on: giving people room to change. That’s what high school’s all about right? Finding yourself? How can anyone find themselves when they have others who won’t let them forget the mistakes that they’ve made or refuse to accept the changes?
Maybe that’s how we’ll beat bullying, because it needs to end. If you think what you say or what you do doesn’t affect another person, then you’re naive because it does.