A Problem Nobody Talks About: Dealing with Bullying in College

Bullying is something only children encounter. It is just a phase. It is bad, of course, but by the time you graduate high school, you no longer have to deal with it. Right? Wrong.

What many of us do not understand is that bullies do not die out or magically transform into better human beings simply by getting older. If they were bullies throughout school and never had any problems with it, they simply bring their tendencies into later stages of life. This is why if you hope college will certainly be bully-free, you are in for an unpleasant surprise. In fact, you are likely to encounter the same kind of people throughout your life – their social position may change, but their nature remains the same. And no matter how much the representatives of authorities speak about fighting bullying and supporting its victims, in the long run, you are on your own. If you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your own arm. That is why it is important not to despair and not to wait to be saved but start doing something yourself.

It Is not Your Fault

The first thing you need to do to deal with bullying is to get it into your own head that being picked on is not your own fault. Bullies are often people with severe insecurities of their own and engage in bullying because it gives them a sense of superiority and control to prey on those whom they perceive to be defenseless. In a sense, it is their goal to persuade you that it is your own fault. Many students become so crippled by this idea that they become literally unable to do anything related to studies – even to use essay writing service to deal with a difficult task becomes impossible. Do not let it happen to you – the problem is with them, not with you.

Dealing with bullying in college

Do not Try Fighting Bullies

Attacking bullies physically is about the worst thing you can do. Firstly, it is a reaction, and bullies thrive on your reactions. Their whole activity is aimed at provoking you, so do not give them this satisfaction. Secondly, they often operate in packs, and starting a fight can go badly for you. Thirdly, even if you manage to give the bully what s/he certainly had coming, they can use it as a leverage against you by accusing you of attacking them without provocation, making you the bad guy in the eyes of authorities. Stay cool. Do not show either fear or anger. Walk away if possible. You probably heard it hundreds of times and can think of it as a useless tip, but the alternative is worse.

Tell Somebody

One of the reasons why bullies feel in control and why they try to persuade their targets that their situation is their own fault and that the entire issue is a personal matter is because the target is too ashamed to tell anybody. Thus, bullies get an additional advantage: it is their goal to isolate you, to make you feel alone and vulnerable. That is why it is important to get the fact of bullying known. Tell your parents, friends, an on-campus counselor or adviser, a coach, etc. – they will support you and help you decide your course of action.

Keep Track of Everything

Bullying victims are often too ashamed of their experience and do everything to erase it from both their memory and anywhere else it may be recorded. Do the opposite. Write down exactly what happened, where, who said and did what, if there were any witnesses. If bullying spreads over to the online world, create copies of emails, make screenshots of personal messages, photos, etc. Gather evidence. If you decide to go to police or college administration with your case, you will have to show them something so that they cannot brush it aside as your fantasy or overreaction.

Go to Authorities

The reason why bullying is so rampant in college but still manages to stay mostly under the radar is exactly because most students are too ashamed of having such a problem when they are apparently independent and should be able to deal with such things without help. However, the only way to oppose bullying effectively is to report it immediately and support your claims with evidence. Study your college’s code for everything relevant for your case and see if you can accuse your bullies of violating campus policies. Once you can formulate your case, have evidence and witnesses, contact somebody responsible for this sort of issues: a college administrator, a dean or the ombudsperson. Show that you know your rights, that you can prove your experiences and want to be protected from them.

Bullying can turn one’s college life into hell as long as you continue to suffer it and play according to bullies’ rules. So don’t. Take matters into your own hands and show that you are ready to protect yourself.

Leave a Reply