5 Ways to Cope With Being Bullied At University

University to many of us is the first time in our lives that we experience ‘adulthood’. Obviously, everyone has different experiences, but I think it is fairly clear to say that while Uni is amazing, it can certainly have serious downsides as well. Particularly the fact that Uni is such a diverse place, could mean that you might easily get mixed in with the wrong crowd. Just because university is a mature environment, doesn’t mean that everyone you will encounter is – and you will probably encounter silly things that you thought you left behind in high school, such as bullying.

The common stereotype of bullying is that it is confined to high school halls and is in the form of swirlys and getting locked in your own locker. However, this isn’t the truth. Bullying can be present at any point in our lives including University. In fact, it is actually pretty common. So if you are experiencing bullying at university we want to try and help you to cope, by giving you a list of important things you can do to feel better.

1. Talk to the University

I know that during my experience of bullying at university, I was surprised at how helpful actually talking to the University can be. I was scared to talk to them at first, thinking that bringing in more people would make the situation worse, but I was wrong. They are so supportive – you can go to anyone in the University from Student Support to Counselling. The University is very strict about bullying and will not tolerate it. After all my worries, I found that going to the university made my situation better and I felt safer returning after the summer, knowing that there were people inside the university looking out for me.

2. Speak to Friends and Family

Never just suffer in silence. Even though it may be hard to open up, it is worth it. Whether it is to one person or many, leaning on your friends and family at this time matters. These are people that you trust for a reason and they will be able to remind you of how awesome you are, even though you’re being bullied. Bullying can make you feel alone, that’s why it’s important to remind yourself that you are not, because even if no one you know has gone through it themselves, so many people do go through this. Remember that lots of people do experience bullying at one point in their lives, and it is not just you.

3. Don’t see yourself as the problem

Try to ignore negative thoughts that are caused by being bullied, although this can be hard. A bully will, in general, try to tear down your self-esteem, whether that is through social media or in person. But it is important to know that normally a bully hurts other people because they feel self-conscious about themselves. So in a reaction to this, instead of bettering themselves, they try to tear down other people who they are jealous of. In an odd way, it is a compliment. A bully wouldn’t have come after you unless they were jealous of you.

Another extremely important thing to know is that it is not your fault that you were bullied. Do not let the people who were bullying you make you think that there is anything wrong with you! What other people think of you has nothing to do with who you actually are, so don’t let this experience make you stop loving yourself, there is nothing wrong with being different. The world is far too big for everyone to be the same, diversity is what makes the world beautiful.

4. Set limits

Depending on the situation, it might be easier to walk away from the bully than not. Sometimes you may have to completely cut off the person who is bullying you, or other times you could talk to them face-to-face and set limits. Either way, it is important to do what is best for you and definitely not what’s best for the bully! You need to make sure you feel healthy and safe coming out of this situation, and if that means blocking them on social media and getting them out of your life, then you should do it. Even though doing this may seem dramatic and hard at the time, it is the right thing to do. It is obviously difficult to avoid someone altogether, especially if they are in your classes, but do what is right for your own health. After what they did to you, you don’t owe them anything. If you are feeling nervous about this, the University or your friends and family will help support you in doing this.

5. Look after your health

Bullying is a tough and stressful situation to get through, so take care of yourself, because you do deserve it! Whether that is something as simple as having a bath or practicing meditation. My situation got me into meditation, and I am so thankful for it. Sometimes it is important to go on walks and get out of the house and although you may want to, do not isolate yourself! Getting out of your room will help you to see that the world is much bigger than what you are going through at this time. With time, you will start to feel better again and what you went through will be in the past.

I hope these tips have helped you, as they did me, and remember that no one deserves to be bullied, and most importantly that you are not alone. While bullying may make you feel out of place and even that University is not for you, it doesn’t not mean that this is true! These experiences and feelings will quickly be a thing of the past. And remember, real queens, fix each other’s crowns.

Important note: if what they are doing is a crime, treat it as such.

Here are some helplines to contact if you are experiencing bullying at university: