College Students: How To Stop Bullying
While many people believe bullying ends at high school graduation, for some students going into college, that simply isn't true. Below we have listed the steps you can take if you are being bullied in college or are witnessing someone else being targeted by bullying.
1. Understand that being bullied is not your fault.
It's normal to feel anxious or embarrassed if you are the target of bullying, but you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Bullies often pick things out to pick on that you or even they are insecure about. Do not blame yourself as you likely have not anything wrong and no one deserves getting harassed and picked on for things they most likely cannot control. Bullies are often insecure people who need to feel superior by feeding off of those they see as defenseless. While it can be challenging, try not to let the bully convince you that what he or she is saying about you is true. Also, it's important to remember that you never need to change yourself into something you are not, even when people are commenting negative stuff about you. It's important to remain true to yourself and focus on what makes you happy.
2. Don't retaliate.
While its important and imperative that you stand up for yourself, it's also important that you don't react in a way that will harm your future, even if it's hard sometimes. Responding aggressively won't make your situation
any better, and it could even land you in trouble. Most of the time, bullies are trying to provoke a reaction from you. Confidently stand your ground and stand up for yourself and don't give in to the urge to use physical force, since you can never be sure how the bully will respond. If just walking away is not an option, speak calmly and explain your feelings.
3. Document the incidents.
For each incident, write down exactly what happened and when, and be sure to note if
there were any witnesses including teachers or school staff. Save emails, texts, or photos, and take screenshots of websites or social media posts if any bullying occurs online. These things can become very useful if the situation escalates to where school administration needs to become involved. It's always better to keep evidence even if you feel the situation won't get any worse.
4. Tell someone you trust.
It is very important to let someone know what you are dealing with so someone else is aware of the situation. Telling a friend, teacher, family member, or coworker may help you feel supported and less isolated and it's good to keep someone else updated on what is occurring. Discuss what you are going through and how you are feeling and see if they know of any resources you can contact. If you don't trust anyone outside of school, try talking to a trusted teacher or staff member.
6. Report the situation and contact authorities if needed.
Many students are embarrassed about being bullied and feel that now that they are in
college, they should be able to handle these things alone. However, it's critical to report
all bullying incidents in order to end the aggression. Ask to speak with a school administrator. This could be a teacher, director, or someone else that is trusted. They can give you guidance on next steps and how to report the bullying. If nothing else works and the bullying continues or occurs online, police may need to become involved.