A lot of people believe that bullying is only a state of being immature that most people will outgrow. This is why there are also a lot of people who minimize the effects of bullying on the victims and in society. However, you should know that the impact of your being an oppressor will last long and even a lifetime.
If you bully someone, you destroy not only his/her ‘reputation’ but also the way he/she feels about himself/herself. You may have heard on the news that a lot of victims of oppressors end up trying to commit suicide and some even successfully do so.
This is why being a bully is terrible.
You should know that what you do now may only be a small deal to you, but it can have a significant impact on your victim. You may think that all of the bad things that you have done and are doing now may not have long-term effects. However, you should remember this thing called “The Ripple Effect.”
Your actions may result in someone becoming a better person or someone becoming a devastated person. This is why you need to change and become a good student.
In order for a building to be strong, it has to have a strong foundation as well. This is the same with a person, for him/her to become strong, he/she needs to have a strong education. If you have a weak foundation, like a decrepit building, you won’t be able to hold up for years.
If you are or were an oppressor, if something bad happens to you, nobody may help you.
If you want to redeem yourself after being a bully, you need to become a good student and this is why this article is for you.
In this article, I will go through in detail how you can become a good student after being a bully in an earlier part of your college/school/university life. This article is based on my interactions with industry experts on human behavior & child psychologists.
Let’s first start with the basics.
Why is being a bully never cool?
A lot of people think that it’s okay to oppress other people. There are people who even believe that it’s funny to make someone feel ashamed. There are kids who also think that it would make them look cool if they make someone else look less cool. However, did you ever stop and think about it?
There’s nothing cool about making someone feel embarrassed about being themselves. There’s also nothing funny about making other people ashamed of who they are. You should know that there’s nothing cool or funny about hurting other people. As the cyberbullying statistics indicate, bullying was and will always be a problem. You should know that:
- If you name-call someone, you’re only pointing out more about yourself
- If you trip someone, you’re just going to make your morals fall
- If you laugh at someone, you’re only laughing about how bad you really are
- If you ignore someone, you’re only ignoring the fact that like him/her, you’re also human
Why were you a bully?
Even though being a bully is a bad thing, you might also have reasons for doing this. You might have been an oppressor because:
You might think it’s no big deal
If you bully someone else, it means that you’re hurting someone else intentionally. You might think that you are merely having fun. Unless you see it, you may think that they’re not really hurting. However, you should know that even if you see no tears, the people you’re oppressing are hurting. When a person is hurting, it means that they’re sad, afraid, or lonely. Now, do you want to make someone feel these things?
You might think people don’t care about bullying.
You may not know this, but people do care a lot. Parents want their kids safe and act with humanity as much as possible. If a parent of the child finds out you’re oppressing knows what about what you’ve been doing, there will be consequences. Also, if your parent knows that you’ve not been acting right, there will be repercussions. Do you want to be punished by an adult?
You might think that the people you’re bullying deserve it.
Nobody deserves to be tripped or name-called. This is why, if you hurt someone, you should know it’s wrong in so many ways. Even if you see someone who might look different or act different, you need to treat him/her with the same respect that you’d like to receive. Do you want to be respected?
You might be frustrated or unhappy with someone else.
There are a lot of ways to handle your frustration or unhappiness, and bullying is not one of them. If you want, you can talk to someone else about these feelings like your parents or a friend. Do you want to be someone who’s on the receiving end of his/her frustration or unhappiness?
You might want to be part of the cool group.
As a young adult, it’s normal for you to want to be part of a cool group. This is why you bully others just to be “in.” However, do you want to be known as someone who’s part of a group who became famous for being mean?
You might want to feel more in control or more power over other kids.
If you’re going to put down someone else through your cruel words or your brute strength, you should know you’re not bringing yourself up. You may think that being an oppressor would give you more control, but it’s not. Do you want to feel good about yourself knowing people are afraid of you, and not because they want to be with you?
You might be jealous of someone else.
A lot of people feel jealous; however, it’s never the right thing to do to bully someone over it. You should know that it’s okay if you want to become smarter, better at sports, or someone famous at school. However, it’s never okay to oppress someone just because you want what they have. Do you not want to become a better person?
You might be looking for attention.
Yes, you can get attention if you’re a bully; however, it’s not the kind of attention that you want. You wouldn’t be getting praise for the bad things you’ve done; instead, you’re only going to get punishments, criticisms, and other adverse actions. Do you want to become someone who keeps getting negative attention?
You might have been bullied by someone else.
Just because you were oppressed once, you became a bully yourself. You should know that doing the same thing to someone else will not make things better. Becoming a bully just because you’ve been oppressed will only make the cycle go on and on. However, you should put a stop to it. Do you want to become someone else’s reason to become a bully?
Road to reform
“You can stop yourself from being a bully and become a good student.” Becoming a better student and thus a better person can show you that you’re the one in control, and not your circumstances or the people around you.
How to become a good student?
For you to turn over a new leaf in your life, the best way is to come to terms with your actions. You can do this by apologizing to the people you’ve hurt and asking for their forgiveness. You can also easily move forward if you have a clean conscience and have forgiven yourself.
Be proud of yourself for starting to change
It can be hard to admit that you’ve been wrong and stop yourself once you’ve been used to doing it. You should be proud of yourself for having enough courage to try to start anew and make up for your bad behavior.
Apologizing to someone who you’ve bullied before is the first step that you can take to start over. You should:
- Approach the people you’ve hurt before
- Tell the person you’ve approaching that you’re sorry for what you did
- Show him/her that you are genuinely sorry for the things you’ve done.
You know that your actions can speak louder than words. If you apologize, don’t just say it, but show it. You can:
- Walk with them at school, if you’ve been ignoring them before
- Hang out with them, and show them that you appreciate them for they are
- Be helpful to them every time that you can
People who have been oppressed before, especially someone your age, can make him/her have difficulties trusting people. If you’ve bullied someone, it would be harder for him/her to have a harder time believing you.
You should never expect everyone that you’ve oppressed will immediately accept your apology. Be patient: do everything that you can to convince them of your sincerity, and wait for the time he/she has finally forgiven you.
It can be hard to change and start over while you’re trying to become a better student. This is why you should find the right balance and organize everything.
It can be challenging to stay organized, but it’s incredibly crucial for you to do so. If you’re organized, you’ll be one step ahead of becoming a better student and better person. You can be arranged by:
- Keeping a folder for each of your subjects
- Having a separate notebook for each of your issues
- Keeping all of your school materials for each of your topics in one place
- Placing bookmarks on the last pages you’ve read or worked on
Make sure that you have everything ready ahead of time. It can be challenging to do a lot of things while you don’t have the right stuff for them. You can:
- Prepare all your notebooks, pen, paper, books, and other school-related materials the night before your class
- Write down all of the incoming school activities
- Use reminders to help you remember things, such as alarms and sticky notes
Pay more attention
When you were still a bully, you might have been giving all your attention to yourself and the people who you think deserve attention. Now that you’re trying to start anew, it can be very hard to put your attention in the right places.
Pay more attention in your classes
Take down notes while you’re in class, especially when your teacher is talking during the lesson. Also, if he/she teaches something that you’re having difficulties in understanding, raise your hand and ask him/her to repeat it, explain it better, or give an example that can illustrate what you didn’t understand. You should never be afraid to ask questions as the more you ask, the smarter you become. You should also know that:
- Asking questions can let your professors know that you’re willing to learn
- Keeping your eyes on your professor and not on someone or something else will help you stay focus
Avoid distractions in your studies
You should avoid distracting other people and avoid getting distracted by them as well. If your friends or classmates are talking while in class or passing comments, don’t give them attention. Also, if you don’t want them to keep distracting you, please make sure that you’re not going to be mean in telling them to stop. Just be gentle in telling them that you want to focus in class.
Review all of your notes for your free periods
Reviewing all your notes is exceptionally helpful in your studies, especially for your challenging classes. You can also take this opportunity to get closer to the person you’ve oppressed: you can review with them, ask for their help in your studies, and help them in theirs when you can.
Take some time to take down notes of the problems you’re encountering
Write down everything that you’ve had problems with. You should write down:
- The subjects you’re having a hard time with and what part of them is confusing to you
- The people that you’re having problems convincing that you’ve changed
Focus on studying and learn
A lot of times, when you’re a bully, you tend to think that you can deal with everything just by strutting yourself. You may also think that just because you’re ‘popular’ or ‘feared,’ you’ll get everything that you want and need without working hard. However, this is not true, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. To get ahead in life, you need to become a good student, and to become a good student, you need to study hard and learn.
- Start reading more
If you’re someone who is not a reader, you should start at your current level and then slowly work your way up. If you read about subjects that are difficult and challenging for you, you’ll be able to expand your vocabulary and have a better understanding of the issue.
- Construct a mind map
It would be beneficial for you to use a mind map. It can help you understand topics at school that are difficult for you as it is handy when you’re brainstorming for ideas. If you want to create a mind map, you can write down the topic that you’re having a hard time with at the very center of the paper. You can add lines that are pointing in different directions leading to the things that you understand that you can do to help understand the subject.
- Study in a way that’s productive
If you want to become a good student, you should study really hard. Studying as much as possible is one of the keys to achieving something significant in your life.
- If you’re already spending thirty minutes a day for learning before, you need to increase that amount of time
- You should make your studying time matter by ensuring that it’s spent wisely
- Avoid all distractions during your study period
- Turn off all appliances and devices
- Avoid talking unnecessarily
Never put off your work for later
You should create a daily routine for your studies. If you don’t create a habit, you won’t be able to set aside a specific time devoted to just learning. However, being able to have a definite time designated for learning will enable you to work on the things that you need to do.
Take breaks when you’re studying
It’s advisable that you take a break every time you spend long hours on learning. You may think that it can be counterproductive to take a break; however, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of a rested mind and body if you take a break. You should:
- Take 20 minutes of break for every 2 hours of learning
- Never lose control if you get stuck
- Eat and drink energizing food and drinks while studying
You should remember that even if your break is necessary, you should never do it more than usual.
Talk to your teacher
If you can, approach your professors and ask them about the upcoming lessons that you will tackle. If you do this, you can then read them before going to class or in advance. Thus, you’ll be able to familiar with what they’ll be teaching and understand them better. If you can, you can also help the classmates you’ve bullied.
- Try to go the extra mile
As much as you can, you should attempt to take extra credit for assignments and tasks. You can always improve your grade, even if you’re already getting straight A’s. You can:
- Ask for additional credits from your teacher, if you’re already finished with your school work
- Look at your next year’s subject book so you can learn about the subject’s next level
- If you can, go the extra mile with the people you’ve bullied so you can bond with them
- Study as much as you can
It’s your best bet to study for tests and exams days or even weeks before they are given. You can research ahead of time by:
- Making a study schedule with the people you’ve bullied before
- Divide your schedule adequately if you have extracurricular activities
- Just remember to use your time wisely.
Ask people to help you
There are times that it’s best to study with other people. You can seize this opportunity to explore with the people you’ve bullied before. Ask them to look over the notes you’ve made and maybe even have a mini-test with them too.
Make sure that you do your homework
You should remember that your professors give you homework so that you can review the lessons you’ve learned. You can:
- Do your work every time you have a free period, and make sure to take advantage of it by doing your homework
- Turn in your homework ahead of time if you can or before the deadline
- Do your homework with one of the people you’ve bullied before
- Review your homework right before submitting them
Know The Law
You should be informed that the states and different lawmakers have made the necessary legal steps to prevent people from bullying other people. You should also learn that even if there is no federal law that can be applied to bullying, some of your actions can be considered harassment. This is why it’s necessary for you to stop. If you encounter any legal problem because of your bullying, make sure that you inform the essential people. Talk to your parents or guardian so they can help you consult a lawyer and figure out what legal actions you can take.
In The End
Bullying was and will never be the right thing to do. It would be better for you to become a good person and an excellent student. You will end up not only feeling great about yourself, but also people will treat you better too.
School is a great place to have a lot of friends, but it can be competitive too. Your accomplishments during this stage of your life can significantly affect your life later on. This is why you need to work and study hard. The knowledge that you’ll get in school and the attitudes that you unfold and show other people will lead you to your future. You should remember that even if your grades are crucial, your attitude and the way you treat other people are more important than anything else.