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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By Taylor LaPuma
Dear Class of 2012:
Going to a school so far away from home (Ohio University, 950 miles to be exact), I was so unbelievably worried that I wouldn’t make any friends. I know, that’s kind of lame, but I’m kind of lame, and that was exactly why I was worried.
On move-in day, I stared up at my residence hall, watching the droves of people hustling around, and I began to feel stressed out.
All of these people (excluding their parents, duh) would be living with me. How on Earth am I supposed to get to know them? Will they like me? Will I like them? How will I even remember all of their names?
Probably the creepiest part about it was that most of us were already friends on Facebook, thanks to the dedicated Mackinnon Hall group. Some people (the lurkers) would say “hey,” because they recognized you, other people would stare at you, head cocked, trying to place where they knew you from.
I was relieved when the one person who I was certain recognized me came running down the stairs to greet me, my roommate, Tory.
After Tory and I got all settled into our dorm, we headed down the hall to the common room for our first floor meeting, where we introduced ourselves to the rest of the people on our floor. I couldn’t help looking at everyone and wondering who I was going to become friends with.
Most people, though, already knew each other from high school, or were rooming with one of their friends from home, which really didn’t leave much room for a newbie from the Sunshine State.
My idea of one big, happy fourth-floor family quickly dissolved into groups: snotty girls who think they’re better than everyone, cocky guys who won’t look at you unless you’re Mila Kunis, and who can forget the people who always have their heads in the toilet.
After my first quarter living in the dorm, I still don’t know most of the people on my floor (see reasons in preceding paragraph), but I did end up becoming good friends with a handful of people. Not to mention people whom I became friends with in my classes and at the newspaper, and the awesome girls in my sorority.
With thousands of fellow students, the reality is that not everyone will be your cup of tea, but the good thing is there are many people who are, so it’s not worth the worry.
Taylor LaPuma, a freshman at Ohio University, graduated from Lakewood High in 2011 and is a former editor of tb-two*.