Since making its debut over a decade ago, the film Mean Girls has captivated the attention of millions of people across the globe. The teen comedy film made many people laugh with the story of a teen that had spent the last 12 years in Africa, and stepping into a public school for the first time. Manipulation, stereotyping and harassment make this movie one of the greatest examples of how bullying can sometimes be glamorized in school environments.

Active College StudentsHigh school was not the best experience for me. Watching how cliques walked around the school intimidating others bothered me. To the “exclusive” clique at school others were always too geeky, annoying or simply just not cool enough to hang with their group. Unlike in the movie, the experiences I went through were real.

I have never really been considered a social person. I like to keep to myself most of the time, and some people may characterize that as being weird or a loner. To be honest, I just didn’t want to be part of the gossip that was going on around school. I wanted to focus on my studies.

With all of the gossip around school came the pressure; the pressure to look up to the correct standards. Wearing the right amount of makeup, certain clothes, and of course hang around the correct people. All I saw that doing was making people more and more insecure about themselves.

I witnessed groups of students fight for absolutely no reason. Students making up rumors about others just because they didn’t like one another, the talking behind others backs just didn’t seem to stop. It was a little traumatizing to know that my peers saw pleasure were I saw fear.

I am not going to lie, even without hanging out with a group of people, and choosing to not be part of the gossip, I still felt the stress of having to be like a certain someone or look like a certain somebody. There were nights when all I could think of was how I could overcome the stress of high school.

Sad Teenage GirlAnd one day just like that it came to me. I had to stop worrying about being like someone else and be OK with being myself. I had been doing it for such a long time and I was so good at it. I only realized that when I stopped worrying of the pressures to be like someone else that I began to be happy with myself. I began to open up to others and started building my own group of friends. People that I knew were in the pursuit of something similar to what I was. Not gossip, not intimidation, but simply happiness.

Thankfully, I was able to help myself in overcoming the pressures of bullying. But if you, or someone you know if going through something that you know is not right, don’t be afraid to look for help.