Dear Crabby—Unsure

Dear Crabby,

I am in a pickle. Being a freshman on campus, I have become a social butterfly, joining several clubs and organizations and making lots of new friends. It has been a wonderful experience and getting to know more people has made me feel at home. However, I’ve noticed that my friends and club members have been treating individuals unfairly. To be honest, they gossip in their groups about these individuals and the remarks are very unkind. At times, I wonder if these remarks are borderline derogatory. I am really concerned and do not know how to handle these types of situations as I am an incoming freshman, unware of these preexisting cliques/dramas. Are my friends’ actions considered bullying? How do I address them without being cast out or bullied myself?



Dear Unsure,

You’d hope by the time you get to college, all of the petty high school (junior high, really) cliques would be over and done with. Not so much. Some things are harder to grow out of, and some people thrive on drama. There are people in this world who feel better about themselves when they crush the spirits of others. Unacceptable. It is never OK to treat people unfairly, and it’s awful to talk behind their backs. I would say this qualifies as bullying. Never be afraid to stand up for the people who are being talked about or bullied .Sadly, standing up for what’s right might make you a target for their bullying. Stand up for yourself, too. Now might be your chance to make a real difference in this group. If addressing the situation doesn’t work, consider forming your own organization with other like-minded students. You’ll have more time for having fun if you’re not worried about a bunch of gossip-mongers talking crap.

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