I have pretty much completed college now though have a bit more work left to do. I started when I was 16 coming on to 17 and am now 19 (20 in October). During my time in college, I have learned a lot of life lessons as well educational ones, have met all different sorts of people (both good and bad) and have changed some of my behaviours due to these experiences.
Without further stalling, I will begin:
1.) My First Year: Health & Social Care Level 1
This was my first year in college and was not of to a good start: I got verbally bullied on my first day by a girl with the same first name as me who was having a go at me because of my accent since some people think I sound posh. I laughed at her comments at first but then she just carried on getting ruder and implying she thought I was stuck up because I speak "Oh so proper". I told her not at all and it was just the way I speak but she kept on saying things, ignoring my comments and making me mad. This genuinely is the way I speak. I do not do it on purpose, it is just how my voice sounds. I don't think I'm better than anyone else because of my accent, I just can't help the way I speak. No matter how many times I tried to explain this however, the girl just carried on.
I'd had people bully me before and they had got away with it when I hadn't stood up to them and they'd carried on. I was not going to let that happen again, I had to find some way to get her to stop or scare her out of it, and thus came up with an idea - I threatened to get revenge on her.
This turned out to be not such a good idea though, as days after the teacher basically had to force her to apologize, I was asked what my revenge was going to be. When I said my original plan (which was to publicly humiliate her with words) everyone just laughed at me, infuriating me even more. Days later, I was asked again what my plan "Really was". I realised if I was honest then I would only get laughed at again and no one would be scared to bully me, and so I lied; I said something about putting mercury in her drink as I knew this was poisonous and ended up getting labelled a psycho. I wasn't offended though, more so amused. I mean me, a psycho? Dude, I'm a pale ass 5"5 girl with poor eyesight who has a slight obsession with cats and still watches kids cartoons. I lied to you, I was never going to poison anyone, I was just trying to scare you out of picking on me.
It didn't help though, people still picked on me all the more, they would bully other people too but I seemed like the main target. It was like they'd insult, mock or otherwise be disrespectful to me, I'd let it go so many times but if I felt they were being too disrespectful I would stand up for myself and say something back, only to cause an argument which would keep getting worst and worst and would leave me feeling like crap at the end of it. I still feel like maybe it was my fault - perhaps I spoke too much in class, perhaps my social cues weren't very good after being home tutored for so long, perhaps I did come across as stuck up - or perhaps they just found it fun to wind me up since they picked up on the fact I was sensitive, I don't know..
I would get so annoyed and upset in this time period and take my anger out on people only to end up feeling guilty. I'd been trying to work on my anger issues before college and it seemed to be going smoothly until I met those bullies. Every morning I had to go into that college, I would feel anxious and not want to go. Every time someone was mean, I'd go home crying.
Luckily though, I had one close friend who was amazing to me - A guy, (we'll call him Joe) who was very caring, logical, smart and funny. We got on very well, had a similar sense of humour, he'd be more sensitive towards me than the others were, would never insult me in a mean way, was very understanding, always gave people the benefit of the doubt and had a pretty calm nature (reminded me a bit of Moss from IT Crowd in some ways). I remember he would laugh when people insulted him too, but on one particularly disrespectful one, I was waiting for him to say something back. He would of had every right to get angry and say something back and yet what did he do?
Laughed. He just laughed.
I was shocked! How could someone possibly have the amount of calmness to respond that way to such a dickish comment??
I wished I was that calm and admired my friends calmness and ability to handle situations where most would get angry. The only con to hanging out with him was that people thought we were either going out or wanted to when it really wasn't like that. I simply just admired his personality and behaviour, I looked up to him and wanted to be that way too. He inspired me to change for the better. Though it was annoying, I would just ignore people's comments and continue to hang out with him because why should I lose a great friend, ignore someone who helped me that much and who I got on best with just because of some other people's silly comments? No. Way.
I still continue to speak to Joe through Facebook now and again and am always willing to help him if he needs it (though this hasn't yet happened) and still occasionally go to him for advice.
So what did I learn from my first year in college?
If someone insults you, don't insult them back as this just makes things worst. Instead: Laugh;
Don't threaten to get revenge on anyone whether you mean it or not or this may backfire; and don't skip class just because of bullies (I did this on some days and ended up failing my maths exam as I had no idea how to do the majority of it since I hadn't been in for those lessons).
Sorry for any grammar errors and hope you enjoyed reading.