And Why We're Not Doing Enough As a Society To Stop It

Bullying is simply defined as "use of superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone)" but it is not just that simple. There is both direct and indirect bullying and within these two are many forms. Physical which most obviously deals with harm to the body and harming of a person. Verbal which is the use of derogatory terms, violent language, and aggressive speech to demean and belittle a person or cause emotional harm. Relational deals with the efforts of someone to trash another's reputation through rumors, postings, etc. Last but not least, there is the classic form of damage to property which is not just limited to egging a house, but deflating tires, breaking and entering, smashing phones, glasses, stealing clothes, etc. It's funny that with all of these different forms of bullying displayed every day and clearly outlined on the Internet, that people still try to find ways to justify the actions of bullies.

I will be the first to say that I blatantly do not give a shit about your past or any excuse you will come up with for being a horrible human being. I do not care what you have been through in your life or who made you hate yourself so much. NONE of this is an excuse to defile or treat another human in the same way. I know it must be a foreign concept to many because we live in a selfish society where everyone is constantly stepping on others to try and reach some untouchable shrine of popularity and social acceptance and will do whatever it takes to keep people below them no matter the effect it has on that person. Well here's a news flash, such a thing doesn't freakin exist people so give up the act!

It does not make you look cool by being a bitch to someone for no reason. You are not cool for inflicting harm on someone else just for you and your buddies to record it and post it on Snap. I don't care if you don't like their hair color or outfits. I don't care if he is athletic or can reprogram an entire video game. I don't care if she prefers to read books and sit alone or has to post all over Instagram in order to receive satisfaction from others. Let people do whatever they want and stop trying to act like someone died and made you the queen or king of everyone. Because if your parents haven't broken it to you yet, the world doesn't revolve around you, sweetie.

We have all been through our awkward stages and experienced the glances, whispers, rumors, nudges in the hallways, and just feeling like we're not good enough. If you claim that this never happened to you then be considered lucky. For many of us, this was a reality at some point or other in our life. In fact, 80% of girls and 79% of boys have reported being bullied either online or in school. That's a pretty big percent huh, yeah I thought so too. Only about 30% of students actually admit to bullying themselves, ironic isn't it? Even more shocking is that 40% of boys who were identified as bullies continue the trend of abuse into adulthood. Coincidence, I think not.

Now time for the chilling facts. According to ABC News, about 160,000 kids stay home to avoid bullying each DAY. Bullying, both physical and cyber, is one of the leading factors in teen depression and anxiety nationally. Such mental health issues are also linked to leading factors in teen suicides. Suicide is currently the 3rd leading cause of death among young adults and is responsible for nearly 4,500 deaths per year according to the CDC. Additionally, for every suicide that results in death, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.

I'm not here simply to write an informative article about bullying. My goal is to provide some chilling statistics as to how severe bullying has become in this day and age and why it is one of the top THREE leading causes of death in our youth today. If that doesn't scare you then maybe you need to reference my other statistics. The next teen suicide could be one of your friends, a sibling, cousin, someone you know who you had no idea was having to go through such trauma every single day.

My hometown recently witnessed the tragic death of one of our teenage students who had been dealing with bullying for years on end, beginning in elementary school. On November 2nd, 2017 Angelo decided to take his life and relieve himself of the pain he lived in due to the effects of constant bullying. No mother, father, family, or friend should ever have to deal with the grief and pain of knowing that this was the reality for their child. It is time for school districts, bullies, and bystanders to STOP making excuses and exceptions for the pain that these victims of bullying have to experience in their daily lives. You can always be doing MORE to help.

It starts by educating everyone on the reality of bullying. A bystander should never be able to sit there and watch another person be harmed, belittled, or intimidated. Say something, tell someone, take action. School districts should be implementing programs to help students who experience bullying and taking REAL action to penalize the bullies for their malicious acts. Excuses are just excuses and words are simply words, it should never take the loss of a human life for action to be taken. The time is NOW.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-government-report-finds-pervasive-anti-lgbt-bullying_us_591c9c91e4b0e8f558bb2336

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.

It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Staying Quiet Is Never The Answer

Never hold in anything—always talk to someone.


"Talk to someone" may be a phrase used all of the time, but I'm serious when I say, talk to someone.

I cannot stress enough the importance of talking to someone when you are going through anything difficult that is bringing you down. Believe me when I say that this is something I had to learn myself. I'm the queen of not talking about anything to anyone and wearing my, "Everything is okay" mask, but that is one of the most unhealthy things you can do. Holding everything in is so damaging to you emotionally and mentally. When you bottle everything, it will eventually all come out and it will be on someone you are close to who had no idea about anything you tell them.

My reason for not talking was always that my problems would add a burden to someone else and I never wanted to do that; the truth is, those that care about you think more about ways they can help than your problems being a burden for them. I've always been the person to hold everything in until it got to be too much and then I would explode on one of the people closest to me; not only was that damaging to me, but it was damaging to my relationship with that person as well.

Talking to someone is one of the most serious things you can do. People have been placed in your life as people you can vent to and tell everything to. I'm not saying vent to everyone in your life, but find at least one person you can trust and talk to them. The more you talk to people and let them in, the easier it gets to become something you do normally and the easier life gets. Even if you don't want to talk to someone close to you, there are hotlines you can call and talk to people who literally do that as their job. Your problems are not a burden and do not need to be held inside.

Talk to someone; the more you do it, the easier it gets.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


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