Sam s Story
“When I was a freshman in high school, I had a lot of nice friends. But, there were also some classmates that would pick on me from time-to-time. There was a time when I was called the S-word [shit], and I really don’t think it’s nice to call others that. There was another time at Track and Field practice when I was called the R-word. I talked to the coach after practice because he noticed that something was bothering me. I told him that I wanted to talk to him because I was really sad and felt like I was about to cry.
It was really hard for me because I put so much into that team and didn’t want to be treated in a mean way. I wanted to feel a part of the team and wanted to feel appreciated. Another time, in P.E class, some boys were picking on me and calling me mean names, so I reached out to the principal for help.
Whenever these situations happened, I would try and tell the classmates to please keep the mean words that they say and that they write about others to themselves. I sometimes will get really bad flashbacks at night, that come as nightmares, from back in those days. I actually had a nightmare last night. But, my parents tell me to not focus on my past and to only focus on my future, which is what keeps me happy and keeps the sad thoughts away.
Things were a lot different for me when I was in college. I started to feel truly cared about by my friends and felt like I was acknowledged. I also really care about my friends and I am lucky I have many from college. I also became a part of the basketball team. I am still helping the team by going to all the practices and games. I feel so appreciated like I am making a difference.
I can proudly say I graduated from college. I currently have two jobs. I am still part of many organizations, including the Catholic Service Association. I help to ‘stop the R-word’. I still help with the basketball team at my college. (We’re having a great season so far!)
I have come so far and know others can too. If you’re going through a hard time or struggling- try and be positive and don’t give up on yourself. You always will have friends who support you if you need help. Smile and be happy."