Welcome back everyone to my Finding Happiness again series, this week Imogen throws a spotlight on bullying and her experience with it as an adult and how she overcame bullying. Often this topic is purely focussed on school time and little light is given to bullying at University or within the work place…
“Hello everyone! My name is Imogen and I blog over at imogenchloe.co.uk, I cover quite a broad range of topics simply because I don’t feel the need to limit myself and like to blog about what I know. Therefore, I blog about being a university student, lifestyle as well as about my photography and art.”
My topic which I will be speaking about is all about bullying, I realise when I say that, that bullying as a topic in itself is very broad and there could be all manners of aspects and angles which I could discuss. What I would like to discuss today though is my experience with adult bullying and how I overcame bullying. I am by no means suggesting that this makes it more serious than bullying which occurs between younger people but it is often, I find, an occurrence which people believe just stops with age. Bullying is a something which happens all too often and goes about very much unnoticed unless someone speaks up about it.
That’s what I did or didn’t do. I started university in 2016 hoping for a fresh start, I had just finished a journalism course where I was extremely unhappy – the people and friends I made were lifelong, but the career was not for me and I noticed that quite quickly.
“Starting university was certainly not what I believed it would be”
I had visions of vast lecture halls full to the brim with students, some listening intently and others well, not. Instead, I found myself in a new degree (at my university) and in a class of less than twenty with clearly distinguished cliques from the off. It would be a lie for me to say that I was unpopular in school, I wasn’t, but I wasn’t popular in the high school sense – I got on well with the majority of people I came across but not because I was part of the ‘it’ group of girls.
I will assume that you know the group I am talking of as most, if not all schools have them, that same group reappeared in an older form at university and I instantaneously stood out. I struggled to spend time with them as I didn’t fit in, alone they would be different to the mob mentality when they came together. I didn’t fit in for petty reasons, for having a student loan and living in student accommodation and actually, for being friends with a girl who has to wear certain clothing garments for religious reasons. I knew that it was wrong so I tried to break away but that only made it worse.
I think that it was I found most difficult, in such a small class it was hard to break away from a group which comprised of several people, especially when we spent every lecture and class together. If you are experiencing any trouble with anyone the best thing I can say is to break contact immediately, removing them from social media may seem like an insignificant thing to do but it does help, it made me feel more comfortable knowing that they couldn’t pick apart my Instagram account. It’s easy for me to say and if you are going through a form of bullying then you have probably heard it a lot from others too but you have to be strong. It says more about the other people than it does about yourself and at the end of the day, if they don’t like you, then why bother with them at all?
“You have no one to please or make happy in life other than yourself, looking after number one is the best decision you can do”
It may seem embarrassing to speak to someone but speaking to someone of a higher authority could be the lifeline you needed. I’m not ashamed to admit that I spoke to someone about it and the situation began to resolve itself. Isn’t it better to feel silly for even 5 minutes if it means the next 5 hours, day, weeks and months are happier for you?
“I wasn’t ever going to sit aside and let someone bully and belittle my friends either, I looked after myself and took the right actions but I made sure that they knew where my loyalty lies. “
It says it all really that we have remained friends throughout university so far and I whole heartedly believe that we will remain so into the future. I still have to experience and be around the others as after all we do have class together, but things are civil and I wouldn’t put myself in the position to be hurt again.
My friends and family were a massive support throughout the whole experience as well, they checked up on me, made sure I was okay and when I wanted to come home constantly my parents encouraged me not to and encouraged me to speak up and seek support. I would have dropped out of university or changed universities had it continued, I am so glad I didn’t though as I had the best second year and being happier meant my grades improved and I am very excited for third year to commence.
If you take one thing away from this, please let it be to talk to someone, at no stage in your life do you deserve to feel inadequate in any way. What is happening may seem silly and insignificant but if it is hurting you then you do not have to sit aside and experience it alone.
“Make yourself happier, you are the most important person in your life and you deserve every ounce of happiness you can achieve. “
Things got better for me and they can do for you. You just have to believe, you are more than enough.
You can follow Imogen’s journey over at her blog www.imogenchloe.co.uk where she shares posts about University, recipes, her lifestyle and photography. Be sure to follow her on twitter to keep up to date with everything, she’s always happy to support and have a chat.
I’d like to thank Imogen for casting a spotlight on Bullying. Especially in the adult world, people often have a conception that bullying stops as people get older when in reality it doesn’t. I was in contrast bullied at school but I can thoroughly identify with the feelings that Imogen experienced and some of you may be feeling now. Please remember as Imogen said speak out, tell someone and it will get better and ultimately learn to ignore the haters there is only one of you and you are wonderful. And please remember:
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light“– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
The next part of this series will be out next week, subscribe to my blog to keep up to date.