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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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Teenage Turmoil: Overcome Bullying and Embrace Self-Identity

Cadence Wooden
Bullying is a real reality that a majority of people face, and we shouldn’t have to feel like we’re alone while dealing with it. It’s time to rewrite the narrative of dealing with bullying.

In a world with so many people, it’s crazy to see how different environments, such as classrooms, sports, friend groups and more can make people feel so alone. Whispers, looks, and shunning — the things that can make any person’s mind race with thoughts.

The reality for teenagers is that they’re going to have run-ins with bullying. No one wants to experience it, but in different shapes and forms, we all encounter it in some way. So, what should we do when it does happen?

Michelle Obama said it best: “When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is: ‘When they go low, we go high’.”

For me, there was no easy way out of the bullying situation during my time in high school. To do what I love meant that I’d have to be around the people that had bullied me. I’d have to feel alone and try to just do what I loved, but the whispers of those that had surrounded me would ultimately drag me down. This is the reality that can drive a person’s mind to places that can destroy their perception of themselves.

After all that time, I was able to keep my head high and make it to the end. 

So how did I do it? 

The truth is that it wasn’t at all easy. What I want to provide from my experience is how to make it through. The first step in doing this is believing that you can. You’re not alone in your struggles and you’re enough to make it through. 

Here are the things that I have done to keep myself going after experiencing emotional bullying.

Go back to your support system

At first, I only felt alone. It wasn’t until I finally recognized that I had people around me who were there to support me that I started to feel like I belonged again. Those people in your life that lift you up and make you feel good about yourself — they are your support system.

When life gets hard and you feel as if you’re on your own, the best thing that you can do is go back to your support system. 

Pay attention to who’s there for you when you’re not doing well. Pay attention to who reaches out and defends you when you need it most. Pay attention to who looks out for you and wants the absolute best for you. These are the people that you need to cherish within your life because they’re the ones that will get you through the hard times, and the same goes for them. 

These people can be your family, friends, coworkers, teachers, and more. The limit for support is endless — you just have to have your eyes open to be able to recognize who they are.

If you don’t have these people in your life at this moment, it’s okay. These people will show up at some point in your life, maybe even when you least expect it. No matter what, you aren’t alone.

What is it that you love?

Life isn’t perfect — there will be ups and downs that you’ll never see coming, but what you can do to make it through those times is remember what it is you love. You can know that you love the people around you and that can be the motivation. You can know that you love doing what you’re doing. As long as you feel a drive for something, you can push through just about anything.

The power of simply doing what brings you joy is enough to keep you going, and it doesn’t have to be for a person — it can be for a thing or place. When you love something enough, that can be your driving force to not let the negativity pull you away from what you love. 

There’s not much more to say than to concentrate on what you love when other things try to tear you down. When you have a passion that is so strong even when you’re getting hit multiple times, you’ll be able to stand strong ready for more. 

If you don’t have a passion this strong for something yet, you will. Over time, you’ll try new things and find a passion that will click for you — and this is what you should pursue. It will lead you to do amazing things.

So ask yourself the next time you feel like you’re getting down or don’t know why you put yourself through all this pain: what is it that you love?


This may be hard to understand, but kindness can overcome anything. Our initial reaction to negativity is to combat it with more negativity, but this won’t ever work.

You’re letting the bully win if you fall for the temptation of doing what they’re doing. If they see you respond with negativity they will then know that they’ve got to you.

Kindness is what works. It shouldn’t be about stooping down to their level. The best thing to do is be who you are.

If you just show kindness to the person that’s mistreating you, they won’t know how to react. When have you ever responded back to someone who’s being nice to you in a bad way? The answer is typically never — so why not give it a shot?

A part of kindness is being able to love people more than they deserve sometimes, and that’s what will get you through the dark times.

Who are you?

What makes the situation with bullies harder is not knowing what it is you possibly could have done wrong to be treated so poorly. 

The answer I can’t give is the reason why. Why do people resort to picking on a person? Why do people think that their own life will get better by treating others so badly? Why do people think it’s funny to torment someone?

I wish I knew. 

What I do know is that if you don’t listen to anything else, remember you are enough. You are a good person. You are a beautiful, talented, and strong person. Don’t let anyone ever take that away from you.

Life is not something that’s just going to hand you everything. Life is going to be hard, and when it gets hard, you have to remember that you can keep going because these experiences can only make you stronger.  

I know who I am. It took me a little while to figure it out, but when I did, it helped guide me through the darkness to find the light. 

The reality of bullying is it can tear people down and bring people to their darkest places, but after seeing that you’re not alone, I hope that you find a way to rise above it all. There’s always going to be a person trying to tear you down, because that’s unfortunately what happens when you start being yourself and becoming successful. If you weren’t doing something right, they wouldn’t be trying to bring you down. 

A quote that stays close to me is from the character Ted Lasso: “Guys have underestimated me my entire life and for years I never understood why – it used to really bother me. But then one day I was driving my little boy to school and I saw a quote by Walt Whitman, it was painted on the wall and it said, ‘Be curious, not judgmental.’ I like that.”

I want you to know you’re not alone and this time in your life will get easier. The power you hold is amazing, and if we follow that quote, we will gain so much more in life. Find the good and be yourself.

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  • C

    Christine BabinecMar 21, 2024 at 10:05 am

    This piece is not only brilliantly written and eloquently presented, it is soulful, heartfelt, uplifting, relatable, and profoundly important. Thank you for sharing your insight, wisdom, and practical advice.
    This piece will help more people than you know and putting something so professional and so positive out into the world is a gift.
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.