Much like many high school horror stories, mine involved bullying. My Freshman and Sophomore year were filled with drama, and you’d thought I would’ve learned to choose my friends wisely by my Senior Year.
No such luck.
My Senior year I had to make a tough decision. I knew of someone that had completely copied my best friend’s Lab Report, which had taken her hours to write.
Sounds simple. He cheated, report him.
Except he was a pretty popular guy. At my school, basketball was the sport, as we didn’t have a football team. He played basketball, he was friends with the popular kids, and we were on friendly terms. He even came to one of my games and bragged how he’d watched me score a goal, my first one of the season.
It wasn’t an easy decision.
But I knew I had to do the right thing, even if it was the difficult one. My best friend deserved better than that. And so I stood up for her.
“Snitches get stitches?” How about “snitches” become social pariahs?
I was blacklisted amongst the Senior class. I was blamed for any other drama that stirred up amongst us, even though I hadn’t had a hand in it. It was just natural to assume that it was me. I was a “snitch” after all.
I spent the final day of my Senior Year in high school crying in the corner of one of my favorite teacher’s classrooms. That was definitely a low point in my life.
Bullying happens in all shapes and sizes. And it can happen to anyone.
Luckily, as I left high school, I learned that my experiences didn’t define who I was. I had a new set of friends in college, and high school was just a blip on my life radar.
One that I’ve learned to be grateful for.
So my message to all of you is this:
Your high school labels will only define you as long as you allow them to.
Through these experiences, I learned how to be confident in my values and who I am. I learned how to be brave in the face of adversity, even when I was doing something that was against the popular opinion.
So my advice is to learn from the negative experiences. Grow from the childish behavior. And never let anyone get you down.
Dare to be you, because nobody else can. Be as uniquely you as you can possibly be, and don’t be afraid to own up to exactly who you are.
The blank canvas is yours to fill. So make something you can be proud of.
Hey guys! Thank you for reading my #LaterHaters submission. I paired with AT&T and their anti-bullying campaign to help drown out the hate. Be sure to enter the #LaterHaters contest yourself over at the @NoMoreBullying profile on Wattpad.
I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!