- Santiago, Chile
- Santiago, Chile
- Computer Engineer
First of all, I’d like to say that discovering this site and reading everyone’s stories has been really emotional. It’s heartwarming to see that you’re not the only one who went through the major ordeal high school can be. That being said, here’s my story :)
Like many others here, I was a chubby, nerdy, ugly duckling girl during my child/teen years. And, of course, I was bullied every year from Kindergarten to Senior. I chose this particular picture because it’s from my 8th grade year, which was easily the worst, saddest year of my life. Back then, I was quite overweight and I would wear those horrible mannish jeans (in a size bigger than my Mom’s), huge T-shirts and a hair bun… in summary, a fat, tomboyish, awkward teenager, whose self-esteem was only sustained by her grades.
I was very lonely at that time. My classmates (specially the “cool” girls… who formed a clique, had their “Burn Book” and everything) were very hostile. They would laugh at me, sing songs to mock me… one time I was knocked to the ground, and another time they locked me in the bathroom and said horrible things to me. And the worst is… all I wanted was to be part of their group. They would give me hell, but I still dreamed of the day I would belong. I guess that’s why I gave them parts of my lunch when they demanded it.
There was one particular day at the Music class when we were given a song and we needed to create new lyrics for it. I remember I started writing, without thinking too much, and then I would sing it to my teacher while the others were working on their own. While singing, I noticed the lyrics I got were so sad! They were all about feeling lonely, miserable and wanting some friends to have fun. I started crying and my teacher took me outside and said something like, “I know how you’re feeling, but mark my words: These people are not worth it. You will grow out of this, and find some great friends who really deserve you.”
And sure I did. I lost my extra weight, I entered college, and got to study one of the nerdiest professions ever. And though my grades were really damaged, I improved immensely my social skills and self-esteem. For the first time ever, I was free to be myself, and also loved and accepted for that :)
Let’s go back to now. After 18 years, it still breaks my heart to remember those feelings. It’s so painful when all you want is to be loved and accepted, and then you get none of that. I wish I could go back in time to that Music episode, support my teacher’s words and embrace that cute tomboy teenager. I would tell her she was awesome the way she was, that NO ONE has the right to make us feel bad or “less”… and that she would absolutely grow out of it, become a beautiful nerdy woman and, of course, have a handful of great friends to hang out with.