Stamp It, Stop It!
Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter…
I am extremely excited to announce the introduction of the ‘Stamp it, Stop it!’ Anti-bullying section to the Student Life publication. My main focus is going to be around the topic of Cyber and physical bullying, linking this to mental health and the LGBTQ+ community. I will be openly sharing my own personal experiences and encouraging people of all ages to open up about bullying, to ensure they receive the correct help and support.
I am currently in my 3rd year of study at University of Suffolk on the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science programme. Being given the opportunity to offer my support and advice to a wider group of people is something I have always had the ambition to achieve.
Being bullied was probably one of the most difficult stages in my school life. At the time, I was scared and worried about speaking to anyone about it, but later discovered that telling the correct people would set me onto the road of positivity.
I have lots of new and exciting ideas for the near future and I’m certainly looking forward to introducing them to you all! I hope you enjoy this edition and again, welcome to ‘Stamp it, Stop it’.
All best wishes,
THE BULLYING DAYS
A short summary of my experiences at school which led to me seeking help and advice; the first step in dealing with bullying.
The day I stepped into school I knew I wanted to be a Paramedic, but the beginning didn’t start too well. School really wasn’t my favourite place to be, I dreaded getting up in the mornings. Now, this has never been an easy topic for me to talk about, but now I feel it’s important to help others, and assure people they are not alone. I can fondly remember my Sisters alarm being The Kooks – ‘she moves in her own way’, and even hearing that song now reminds me of the not so good days.
Being pinned up by the throat in the changing rooms to having things thrown at me on a daily basis wasn’t a surprise. But the day I went in with my new pencil case and pen my sister had brought me back from a holiday in Barcelona, I realised that nothing was going to change my bullying. I can remember it like it was yesterday, the last lesson of the day, Geography. After constantly being taunted and wound up, a certain individual stole my new pencil case and pen and decided to draw all over it.
Then to top it all off, snapped my pen and threw it in the bin. I was totally fed up at this point, of wondering around on my own, just hoping the lunch hour would go as quickly as possible. I really couldn’t wait to leave school.
Days turned to months, and months turned to years; things weren’t improving. It got to the point of me avoiding school due to being physically scared to see certain people, and what they were going to do to me. It wasn’t until I got to the point where I needed tell someone, something was actually done about it. I really can’t stress enough how important it is to talk to people when bullying first begins, because its much less of an emotional journey to stamp it out before has an effect on mental health and wellbeing.
SPEAK UP AND SPEAK OUT
In this article I would like to tell our readers the importance of speaking to someone during an episode of bullying, and how it benefits you on the quickest journey to happiness.
Speaking to someone about a topic such as bullying is a very brave thing to do, and I certainly struggled to gain enough self esteem to do this myself. It wasn’t until I told someone, I realised how easy and comfortable it would be, and still to this day wish I had done it earlier. One of my main worries was the bullies finding out I had told someone, and becoming even more nasty towards me, but this wasn’t the case and support was now beginning to be put into place.
So, who is the best person to tell?
This is a question that is asked by lots of people who are going through difficult stages of bullying. There is no right or wrong answer, and it all comes down to who you feel most comfortable telling, whether that be family, a teacher at school or even a close friend. I decided to tell my parents initially, who then helped me to inform teachers at school allowing professional help to be organised.
Not telling anyone seems like the easiest option at the time, but catching the bullying at a manageable stage significantly reduces the chances of mental health problems as a result. It’s just overcoming that first hurdle to kickstart getting the right help. Being in these exact same shoes during my school days allowed me to recognise that I left telling someone too late, and the later episodes of physical bullying I experienced could have been avoided.
The first thing I want you to take from ‘Stamp it, stop it’ is that obstacles do not block the path during a difficult journey, they are the path, and overcoming the obstacles allows you to succeed and grow into amazing things. Passing on this initial message is very important to ensure people can recognise the first steps into seeking help, and that no one should be suffering in silence.
If you would like to write an article for ‘stamp it, stop it’ in the August edition, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for an article brief. I am looking for individuals to tell their stories and past experiences around bullying to help reduce stigma.