Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself back into the mindset of a teenager. Constant worrying about acceptance into the various subsections of high school popularity has been replaced with constant worry about making it to the daycare and work on time in the morning. Worrying about what that cute boy or girl is REALLY thinking when they say “Hey” in the hallway has long been replaced with worrying about paying the mortgage and credit card bills.
Teens today are constantly telling their parents and other adults that the times have “changed” and that high school is “nothing” like we remember it now. They say that bullying has become rampant and that many kids live in fear every single day from the onslaught of bullying and mistreatment. Hearing it from them, high school sounds like a battle zone in a third-world country where only the strong will survive to graduation day.
Well kids, sorry to break your fragile world view, but I’m calling BS.
Sure, times have changed. Kids today are sporting cell phones, have instant access to the internet and are listening to music that makes a lot of adults cringe. However, this isn’t a new concept. In the 70’s, heavy metal music was in its infancy and parents around the world could simply not understand why their kids would want to listen to such garbage. In the 80’s parents struggled to entertain the idea of computers in the classroom. In the 90’s most parents were hesitant about their kids and the internet.
Every generation seems to have “their thing” that somehow puts them completely apart from every other person’s childhood. Today, that “thing” is Bullying. Right now, there are over 3 million Facebook users subscribed to “Oppose Bullying” pages or groups One thing that is not very clear however, is what these people define as “bullying”.
When people who’ve been out of high school for at least 10-15 years think about “bullying”, they typically think about a handful of socially awkward kids getting beaten up after school. You’d think that today’s definition of “bullying” would be quite the same.
No, today bullying has taken on an entire new meaning. Ever get into a fight in school with a bully? Well nowadays that’s not called bullying, that’s called Assault and will land you in jail and kicked out of the school in the majority of schools across the country. Ever yell an empty threat at someone across the lunch room? Well nowadays that offense is likely to end with you being interrogated by administration and the police for hours.
So what are kids referring to when they say “Bullying”? Well according to many Facebook communities, Bullying is now defined as any act that could hurt someone’s self-worth or self-image. Making a joke at someone’s expense, arguments, gossip and even online arguments are now considered “bullying” by kids and administrators all over the country.
Many of these so-called bullying “victims” who are now out of high school and are supposed to….you know… DO something with their lives, are blaming their lack of responsibility or drive to succeed on the ‘bullying” they experienced in high school. Here are a few gems pulled out of a few anti-bullying Facebook pages.
“I can’t get a job because I have social anxiety disorder from being laughed at in high school”
“My voice is awesome! I could sell more albums than Taylor Swift, but I’ll never sing again in public after all the bullying I got for it in high school!”
An administrator from a Chicago public school who wished to stay “anonymous”:
“Bullying is an epidemic. Any student that hurts another student’s self-worth intentionally doesn’t deserve public education”
OK, if no one else is going to say it then I will…
First off, bullying has always been, and should have stayed, defined as a physical attack on a student by a student. These incidents should be handled the same way they’ve been handled for the last 100 years….by parents and admins interfering. Worst case scenario, kids today should be taught that even outside of high school, there might not always be someone there to protect them. Fathers teaching their kids basic self-defense is a lost parental art that needs to come back in style ASAP.
Second of all, when exactly did your self-worth get to be determined by someone else? For decades, the smartest kids in school were often the victims of teasing and even physical bullying…and what usually happened? You’d go to your 10 or 20 year high school reunion and those kids are now running multi-million dollar companies or working high-level executive or technical jobs. In short, the bullied kids were the successful ones.
Nowadays, the “bullied” kids are living at home with their parents longer than they ever have before. They make excuses as to why they’re flunking out of community college. Or worse, they’ve racked up 10’s of thousands of dollars in student debt attempting to get a “higher education” in some of the most useless fields of study imaginable simply because their creativity was “stifled” in high school by “bullies”.
Sorry kids, the bullying excuse has ran its course. You’re in high school and your peers are children. Trust us; it really will be a completely different world after high school. Your coworkers aren’t going to be laughing at you all day, pulling pranks on you for no reason and they’re going to be far too busy worrying about their own lives to worry about you.
Unlike what your administrators, government and peers are telling you, you ARE responsible for your own successes and failures. YOU are responsible for taking care of yourself and if you fail at something in life, it’s not your high school bully’s fault for making you “feel bad about yourself”, it’s YOURS.
Grow up and take responsibility for your actions because soon enough, there will be no more bullies left to blame.