Jada Bailey, Staff Writer

The urban dictionary for bullying is to “use a superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants”. To me, another way to put this is to feel useless, unwanted, unimportant. There’s a source to all of this,and a way to prevent everything from the beginning. It can be done.

28% of U.S. students grade 6-12 experience bullying. Approximately 30% of young people admit to bullying. 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools. 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying. 62% witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month and 41% witness bullying once a week or more.When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time.

As humans, we are so quick to judge people. It starts with one person trying to make themselves feel better, and it just becomes a habit with others. Blowing someone’s else candle’s out doesn’t make yours shine any brighter. Then again we are human; it’s okay to dislike someone, sometimes for no reason. It’s not okay to disrespect, degrade, and humiliate that person.

There is so much more to life than just wasting your time to essentially bring others down or lead to worse things. And to people who’ve experienced bullying, you’re not alone. It’s so easy to feel forgotten in this big world. I remember being young and not looking like the others around me. They’d always say my skin was too dark or my hair was short and ugly. I did crazy things to myself; I’ve even caught myself asking my mom for skin bleach. You are enough. You are important.

There’s a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without needing to feel “accepted”. You need to fill yourself up with love. Not anyone else. Become a whole being on your own. Go on adventures; dance under the stars with you’re friends; dress up with yourself. Be your own sunshine. Live for yourself and be happy with and to the people around you. It isn’t less beautiful, I promise.

To everyone who gave me the time of day, thank you. Those kind of people are the best.