School: A different perception

I watch a bullying scene in an anime called Vivid Strike. In the anime, a girl had to go through brutal bullying. The reason was, she didn't join her tormentor's fight club. In one scene, the bullies tried to Tyler Durden her, even breaking her token, which belonged to her death-bed ridden grandfather.

They even knocked her out, leading her to miss her grandfather's final moments. Because she failed to attend to her grandfather earlier, she finally snapped. She went to school the next day and completely mauled the ever-loving hell out of them.

If I ever retaliate against my bullies in real life, the school system will be the one to penalize me instead of them. Forget about them bullying me for years but, I'm the bad guy instantly because I laid my hand for the first time.

There was never a single day in my life that I dreaded every moment of my school. I have a personal disdain for its environment, its teachers, and most of all, the kids. And the worst part is, the parents themselves don't realize how unhealthy schools are becoming. There are several reasons why I have bones to pick against my school.

I was only 11 when my father passed away. That was my first ever taste of reality. Before that, I used to play outdoor sports and was good at studies. I used to watch cartoons and anime shows that once defined my childhood. After my father's passings, all of that became trivial.

After entering 6th grade, everything started falling apart. My interests and performance in sports and academics dipped. It was also the time when the bullying began. That's when I realize the reality of living the so-called "school life." I said something stupid to a group of classmates that I once thought of them as friends. They threatened me by saying that they would rat on me to our teachers if I don't give in to their demands.

So I became their errand boy. They forced me to run their errands. Some of them were questionable. I also became the butt of their jokes. Every time they make a snarky remark, they would laugh with their mouths open at my expense. One time, they even dared to call me their slave. That's what I was to them. Those words affected me on a personal level because of the way it was said.

Every time I refuse to run their errands, they would just come up with the worst excuses to tell our teachers. I was afraid because I already had one tragedy in my life. So I wasn't in any position to retaliate even if I wanted to. I don't want my family to have trouble because of me. And my "classmates" know that very well. I guess having an ounce of sympathy and empathy might hurt their pathetic egos.

The bullying I received on the school bus was even worse. I always considered the 8th grade as the worst time of my "school life." It's like I'm entering Pripyat. The reason being I had to deal with some of the most humiliating treatment from almost everyone.

I had seniors who act all and mighty and get very aggressive if someone even points a finger, let alone call them out. I have my batchmates, who couldn't care less about the ill-treatment I was going through.

And then there are the juniors who are just carbon copies of their beloved seniors. These guys are spineless and would imitate everything their seniors do. They will also belittle and disrespect you for trivial reasons. For example, I ask them for a seat then, they will be at their worst behavior. It's like asking Queen Elizabeth to return the Kohinoor diamond to India. They will every make every remark about how I look or how I say.

When I was in 9th grade, my academics were at their lowest point. I failed in Math in my first semester and, none of my classmates were willing to help me. My class was almost full of wannabe Einsteins or Messis. These guys have their groups and, they will act like they are VIPs.

In reality, they got put up on the pedestal by the teachers and their friends because they ace in studies or sports. Since I was neither good at sports nor studies, none of the groups were willing to take me in. In all honesty, they never took me seriously. Now that I think about it, I don't care if they took me seriously.

Most of the teachers in my school were all but useless. They never bothered to step in whenever there were bullying incidents. When they do decide to step in, it was either half-baked or ineffective. Some of them were just straight-up bullies. I remember this one time when my teacher grabbed my neck for no reason. If I ever complain about this to the school administration, they'll probably scoff that up or reprimand me even further.

When some of the teachers became emotional, they have the authority to take it out on us for no reason whatsoever, all in the name of being strict. And like Activision Blizzard (allegedly), they gave priority to students who aced in academics and sports. And if their students get into trouble, these teachers will do everything in their power to get their students out of trouble scot-free. It was just pure nepotism, nothing more.

With that said, I do have good memories of my "school life." But the only time I have the nostalgia of such memories is when I’m playing The Last of Us on my PS4.

Let me highlight one good memory. I remember one time when my classmates stood up against one of my bullies. Back in Class 11th we had our library class and one junior decided to be an a-hole to me. My classmates just united and we’re on the verge of beating that guy. Until the teacher stepped in. It’s things like that makes me respect the humanities section. And that time even the principal and the teacher were mad lads, when they roasted the guy so much, he was about to cry. I did felt bad for him but it needed to be done because this crap shouldn’t last long and a deterrence needs to happen. After that the kid never bothered me again.

It's been almost four and a half years since I graduated from school. My college life sure has its problems, but it's still better than my "school life." Compared to the minimum number of friends I had in school, I have several in college and my hostel. And I also made a lot of good memories, up until the pandemic showed up.

You know even I had bittersweet memories in 11th and 12th. Fights did broke out in school and in bus. Some, against the juniors, some against the classmates. But then, without it things will just get boring. I like my last 2 years in school than the first 5 years.

Besides it’s not worth putting up a fight in college. Back in school, the matter would end then and there. Because what happens in school, stays in school. But college is a different beast. Because a fight might escalate into a war which might lead to death (guns do get involved). So I’d advise you to not get involve in any fights when you’re in college.

I hate it when a bully says, "We were just kids. That happened in 6th grade." It might be 6th grade for you, but those episodes have made my mind toxic, like Chernobyl. I still have nightmares about it even if I wake up. You didn't have a problem bullying me for years, but asking for a simple apology hurts your ego. No wonder we're so different.

That hellhole of a building has given me more mental scars than I could imagine. Those scars only made me thick-skinned in the following years. When I'm thick-skinned, I can handle any insult given to me. I only retaliate when someone said suffice. The whole thing made me question the school system in India. So, in the end, I want nothing to do with my piece of crap school.