Disclaimer: I apologize in advance that this is not an uplifting or funny post such the ones written by the other CTWM bloggers.
The majority of my high school years were anything but fun. While I had a small, yet solid, group of friends and a few high school boyfriends, the rest of the time I was dealing with major personal issues surrounding bullying.
Without going into specifics, all I am comfortable with sharing is that I was bullied during my middle school and high school years as well as the early college years. Luckily for me, my parents were very supportive and understanding. However, the drive to seek justice, the standing up for one’s self and demanding change, well, that came from the twelve-year-old (a.k.a. Me). Maybe it was the recurring court appearances, the meetings with school officials and the visits to the police department that taught me to speak up and stand up for myself. It must be, because I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I didn’t experience what I did.
Nonetheless, there are a few things I hope my daughter and all of our children realize when they enter the teenage years:
– Never, ever let anyone say that you are nothing, because you are something very special to all of those whom you touch.
– Speaking up does not mean you are causing a problem. If you are standing up for something good, for something that you believe in, for change, then my dear, speak up!
– Your self-confidence comes from within. Never let anyone control the love you have for yourself. Only you can do that.
– While you cannot control the actions of others, you can control your reactions to them.
– When you are feeling sad, lonely and with not many friends you can rely on, always remember that the teenage years are tough and it’s OK to have a bad day. Just don’t turn your bad day into a bad life. Keep your head up.
– Never feed into the drama and gossip in school. Those who “stir the pot” while looking “cool” really are not that cool in their adult life. In fact, they are losers.
– When times get really hard, sports and academics are great outlets. They will always steer you in the right direction.
– Never feel guilty or ashamed of wanting to talk with a school counselor. They are here to help you; use all the resources you have.
– Never forget to smile, have fun and keep your humor alive. It’s what sets you apart from the rest!
– Lastly, please do not date! We would much appreciate it if you waited until you were in college to find your soul mate, just like Mom and Dad did!