When I was in school, social status was something that meant a lot to most people, including myself. Everyone wanted to be cool, popular, and belong to a group.
We see it in movies and shows – how the oddball is bullied and isolated from their peers. But this doesn’t just happen in movies set in high school. It’s not just some fictional coming-of-age story. Because it happens in real life too. And sometimes, these feelings take a toll on the person.
That’s where the problem lies. According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students in America are either bullies or victims of bullying. A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying. Let’s not forget that there are cases of suicides that remain unregistered.
So imagine how much more unregistered suicides could there have been, especially in a predominantly Catholic country like the Philippines, where mental health is rarely discussed and the mention of suicide is frowned upon?
If by any chance that you’re the one that’s being bullied for being different, know that there is nothing wrong with you.
We love that Penshoppe opened this very discussion about embracing our differences. In their 2018 pre-holiday collection, they created the ‘I am Different 2.0’ line where each item is uniquely made in support of the global anti-bullying movement. Funds raised from the campaign will go to the development of anti-bullying education programs for the youth.
Many of us feel like our differences make us an outcast, but it is what sets us apart. In fact, many of the most successful people in the world were different. They’re the ones that created and contributed something game-changing in history.
Honestly, I was one of those people who wanted to fit in. I tried to be what everyone expected me to be. A cookie-cutter student, no flaws, a plain jane. And although I didn’t get bullied as bad as the others, I realized I wasn’t really happy with myself. I grew up with no quirks and no personality that set me apart from others.
So now I’m on a journey to finding my real self—flaws and all. I wanna learn new things, explore my talent, accept what I can’t do and still do it as long as it makes me happy. After all, being a perfect square is boring. Like P.T. Barnum once said, “no one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”
Celebrate who you are because no one else can be you! #DifferentIsGood