As a teen or preteen, there’s nothing more painful than seeing longtime friendships fade. But for Rachel, now 22, that shift was extra unbearable: She wasn’t just dropped by her former friend-group—she was bullied by them too.
Rather than walk away from the girls who humiliated her on a daily basis, she clung to the bond they used to have, and attempted to change herself to win their approval. It didn’t work, and eventually, Rachel realized she was simply feeding their power play. Here’s how she summoned the confidence to walk away:
Fortunately, I found my salvation—not in their acknowledgement, approval, or acceptance—but outside of school. I joined an out-of-town soccer team and spent my time with those girls. They laughed at my jokes and told me that I was funny and nice. Eventually, that gave me the confidence to ignore the school bullies and be friends with other girls in school who I had never met before.
Head over to the Teen Flaunt page to read Rachel’s full essay. We love the lessons it holds for teens, especially her advice to never look back. There’s a huge world out there, and if you open yourself up to new experiences, you’ll find people who value the qualities that make you unique.