Mistakes are part of life

To any teenager reading this who is feeling bullied and harassed or thinks life doesn’t get better after high school — you’re wrong.

To any teenager reading this who is feeling bullied and harassed or thinks life doesn’t get better after high school — you’re wrong. It does. Because as you grow older, you also grow wiser. I know, I know, adults are stupid, but indulge this one a moment and let me whisper a few hard-earned words.

Once you step outside that institutional zoo of hormones gone wild where popularity isn’t judged by the things that matter most: decency, kindness, loyalty, you’ll discover what the meaning of true friendship is.

And in this discovery, you’ll ditch those who you thought were friends simply because they lived nearby or you shared a circumstantial history, for you’ll finally see their true colours and understand their true value. And in their place, you’ll find people who like, love and respect you for you.

In high school, it’s often the oddball or misfit who feels the most alone, and yet these are the very same people who most often change our world for the better. Without dreamers, the world is only two dimensional.

After high school, individuality has value. Kindness has value. Imagination and intelligence have value. The only people who don’t grow are those whose minds stay locked in those empty school hallways and locker rooms, the ones who continue to judge people on physical beauty or the label on their jeans.

As you grow older, you won’t look up to those people, and in fact will wonder why you ever had a tinge of envy or wished you were part of their crowd.

High school is shallow, but you are not.

The reason why so many people turned out to grieve the recent and tragic suicide of 15-year-old Amanda Todd — including around 150 people who came out to Beacon Hill Park on Friday evening to light candles and talk about bullying — is that, as adults, we understand how easy it is to make a mistake and feel like it will never go away. But it does. Even with the internet, it only has the power that you give it.

As adults, you’ll gain an independence of thought that allows you to stand strong, accept and own your mistakes, and understand that you’re not alone. Some of us continue to screw up well past our teens until the day we reach out a hand and ask for help. And when you ask, that’s when you’ll know the true value of a friend.

As humans, we are flawed and sensitive creatures, and, unfortunately, the most shallow and least interesting tend to become the bullies. Since they can’t see or fathom their own inner light, they have a need to pluck the wings off unformed butterflies.

The best defence against any predator is for the pack to stick together, from the weakest to the strongest, from the shyest to the boldest. Never let the bullies win. But most importantly, hang in there. The future is awesome. M

Just Posted

Life ain’t a drag for RuPaul stars

Victoria to play host to two of Drag Race reality show’s biggest personalities

REVIEW: Anna doesn’t quite know what it wants to be

Monday film reviewer Robert Moyes not impressed with the latest Russian femme fatale flick

BEHIND BARS: Learning about the versatility and nuanced flavours of sake

Discover new flavours with sake sommelier Anton Ihl at E:Né Raw Food and Sake Bar

Speaking out: Pride in the Word a major part of Pride Week

Billeh Nickerson returns to host an all-new group of writers for popular literary event

TESS ON TOUR: Festivals and attractions make it Vibrant Vancouver

Monday columnist Tess Van Straaten crosses the water to check out what’s hot in the big city

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Many food options at the Gorge Canada Day Picnic

A multitude of food trucks on hand, but pancake breakfast among the most popular choices

Feed your hunger for Canucks hockey in Victoria this September

NHL team to host camp at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, exhibition vs. Calgary set for Sept. 16

Taylor Swift’s new music video features Ellen, Ryan Reynolds, RuPaul and more

Cast of Queer Eye and Katy Perry make appearances too on “You Need to Calm Down” video

COLUMN: Revisiting a decade ago as Victoria celebrates 20 years of Ska

4 million tourists visit Greater Victoria each year and there’s a reason we remain despite them

Rick Mercer-led comedy team in for second Just for Laughs show at UVic

Comedy company will stage two shows Nov. 16 at Farquhar Auditorium

Most Read