I doubt any kids read this but just in case some kid happens upon this one day, I want them to know, it does get better. Here's the proof.
Last night I went to a Halloween party. I went to Duquesne so my understanding of Halloween parties is not much different from what was depicted in the movie "Mean Girls" - i.e. french maid costumes, sexy whatever profession, etc. etc. I had something cute on but nothing too revealing. It wasn't the parties I had experienced at Duquesne, this was much less mainstream and a lot more hipster.
Oh, you're wearing an ironic costume? That's ironic seeing as you always wear a costume everyday that is also slightly ironic.
I was wearing a Star Trek dress. On a whim, I had bought a light saber. Technically, a light saber corresponds with Star Wars. The truth was, I really just wanted to have a light saber because they're awesome. Who doesn't?
Well, I was dancing with my boyfriend when all of a sudden, a girl walked up to me and interrupted us. I had never seen her before much less knew her. She tapped me on the shoulder and said, "I need to ask you something." Then she proceeded to interrogate me about my costume - why I was wearing it, why did I have a light saber if I had a Star Trek dress on and basically gave me huge amounts of attitude. It was the type of aggression that brought back memories of a girl like that when I was in middle school. Then, she walked away after I repeatedly said, "I just wanted a lightsaber." I repeated that until she stopped talking. I guess politics taught me something useful!
A couple of minutes later, my boyfriend noticed how upset I was. If it had been a lighthearted joke or something, then it wouldn't have been a big deal. But it wasn't, it felt like she wanted me to lose my temper or to say something stupid. She treated me like I was an idiot and she was overly aggressive.
He stopped dancing, looked at me and said, "You want to leave? Let's leave.", and so we left. After I mulled it over today, I realized the difference between what a girl like her could have done 15 years ago and what she can do now. Now, I can just leave and hopefully never see her again. In middle school, she could have insulted me every day and no teacher would have done anything about it.
To be honest, when I hear that schools have 'no bullying' policies, I really wonder how they enforce it. I hope they work. Dear god, I really hope they do.
So kids, it gets better. You can walk away, you can unfriend someone on Facebook, stop following their twitter account and basically have no interaction with them anymore. They can truly disappear when you are older.
It does get better. Also, it never hurts to keep a lightsaber nearby, just in case.