I want you to imagine a girl — sweet, smart, privileged — she has the world in her hands and not an enemy to her name. Now imagine this girl makes one mistake. Suddenly she goes from an anonymous nerd to a selfish slut, with more haters than she is even aware of. This girl who once spent every free second bettering herself or the lives of others now cries herself to sleep, passing more time in the school psychologist’s office than in the library she once loved.
This was my senior year of high school.
I fell in love with a boy for the first time when I was 17-years-old. Maybe because he was the first boy to truly give me the attention I always craved, but I’d like to think it was more than that. He was good-looking and let me truly be myself around him. He was perfect in my eyes.
There was only one problem: he had a girlfriend — who, at the time, was my friend. The girl was psychotic, but I liked her a lot; her crazy personality was entertaining. Let’s just say she found out; actually, let’s just say everyone found out, and what high school student doesn’t like to drag out some juicy drama to the fullest and most brutal extent?
I suffered from September to June; from being called disgusting names in the hallways, being pushed into the dirt at parties, and getting ice cream poured all over my body after I fell asleep on a couch one night with my “friends.”
At first I took the hits, knowing what I did was wrong. I deserved to be tweeted about and ripped apart until I couldn’t take the pain anymore. But after a year had past and I was still facing hostility every time I was with people from high school, I realized something:
Why the fuck did I care what these people thought of me?
These immature people from high school were publicly humiliating me every chance they got because they wanted to see me sweat. They wanted me to break down in tears or at least fight back. But I wasn’t going to give them that satisfaction.
It is because of this experience during my senior year of high school that I have become an extremely strong young woman who is not concerned with other people’s judgments. You want to hate me for some superficial, preconceived notion? Go right ahead. Call me a slut, an inconsiderate bitch, whatever you’d like. Impress me, call me it to my face! You will never see me sweat.
I used to be known as an innocent, selfless nerd before one little incident changed the way people from my town would view me for the rest of my life. But I knew in my heart that although people thought otherwise, I was a good person. I was not selfish. I was not mean. I was still a hardworking, caring individual that would do anything for my friends and family.
I would not and will not ever let other people’s thoughts define me; because no one knows me better than I know myself, and I realized that that was the only person’s approval I needed.
I have become daring with my words and actions, fearless of the consequences. Because I never want to be that girl whose tears could fill a river each day over a boy that would never love her back; that girl who let other people take over her life with their maliciousness. No one should let a bully get to them, even if they are in a situation like I was where they make a mistake. Our lives are in our own hands, and we should live as we please, not in constant fear of others.