Author Topic: Bullying in college-- how to handle? TINY Update 49, 62, 71, Final Update 86  (Read 18651 times)

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BeagleMommy

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Nikko:

I think you should do whatever feels like the right decision for you.  I'd like to recommend to you what we recommend at my university.

Formally withdrawing from the class is a good idea because it won't affect your grades.  If you are comfortable, write (or email) the dean of students at the main campus of the university.  Explain why you find it necessary to withdraw using clear, concise language.  Leave emotion out of it.

Good luck.

TootsNYC

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I'm afraid I don't understand why you are dropping out instead of dropping only this class.  It seems that you should be close to finishing your degree and it seems extremely self-defeating to just stop going. 

I, along with everyone else, do offer you sympathy and a certain amount of understanding, but that seems like an extreme reaction to one boy in one class. 

Remember, people who succeed *in spite of* adverse situations are often highly respected.

This is my reaction.

Shoo

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I'm afraid I don't understand why you are dropping out instead of dropping only this class.  It seems that you should be close to finishing your degree and it seems extremely self-defeating to just stop going. 

I, along with everyone else, do offer you sympathy and a certain amount of understanding, but that seems like an extreme reaction to one boy in one class. 

Remember, people who succeed *in spite of* adverse situations are often highly respected.

This is my reaction.

Mine too.  I find this whole situation baffling.  You'd really derail your entire life because of the actions of ONE person in ONE class?

There's got to be more going on here.  What you are doing doesn't make any sense.

TurtleDove

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  What you are doing doesn't make any sense.

POD to oogyda, TootsNYC and Shoo. And thank you to Judah for clarifying what this guy did (and did not do).  I really don't understand why this whole thing is so upsetting to the OP, and I am sorry that it is, but to drop out of school over it really seems to be an extreme overreaction.

WillyNilly

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I'm not the OP, but I can give a general answer.

The reality of this day & age is everyone is pretty much expected to go to college. Its talked about from when kids are a wee age, like back in first grade "someday when you go to college..." Its this huge cultural expectation. Its touted as the only way to be successful. Its the benchmark for many people to consider someone else smart, or datable, or worthy of being hired for even the most mindless of jobs. I mean look at this very thread "derail your entire life"? She's not derailing her entire life, shes dropping out of college. Trust me, her life won't fall of the skids and render her dead because of this one action! Calling her action, an action done to protect her emotional well being from daily crying jags as "extremely self-defeating"?

Another reality is - formal eduction and/or classroom learning are not for everyone. So a lot of people end up trying to squish their round brains into square classrooms. And they become miserable. And despite being bright, and insightful, and hardworking, they end up feeling stupid and useless and unworthy. Not because they are those things, but because they are following a path that might work for most people, but that doesn't work for them.

And when you are in that position. And paying for it - paying money, paying time, paying with your very soul as its sucked dry and bludgeoned to death - then something as inconsequential to others as annoying classmate, can become an intolerable hurdle.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 05:21:35 PM by WillyNilly »

*inviteseller

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WilyNily..I totally understand what you are saying...my own DD is not a classroom type.  But she has almost finished, and as stressful as it is, it is one guy in one class.  Drop the class.  Yes, kids get it drilled into them about college these days because life experience no longer cuts it for a good job.  If this was her first year, I'd say withdraw and take a break..but 4 years??  I hate to see anyone throw away all their hard work for one bump in the road (an annoying bump, but not insurmountable).  We run into a lot of Joe's in our work experience.  You either have to learn to deal with them or you will always be hiding under a rock.  OP, I know you are burnt out (been there, as we all have) but one person in one class should not cause you to walk away from it all.

WillyNilly

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WilyNily..I totally understand what you are saying...my own DD is not a classroom type.  But she has almost finished, and as stressful as it is, it is one guy in one class.  Drop the class.  Yes, kids get it drilled into them about college these days because life experience no longer cuts it for a good job.  If this was her first year, I'd say withdraw and take a break..but 4 years??  I hate to see anyone throw away all their hard work for one bump in the road (an annoying bump, but not insurmountable).  We run into a lot of Joe's in our work experience.  You either have to learn to deal with them or you will always be hiding under a rock.  OP, I know you are burnt out (been there, as we all have) but one person in one class should not cause you to walk away from it all.

Again I can't speak for the OP, but if she's been in school for 4 years for a 2 year degree, the problem is not as simple as "one guy in one class". The one guy was the final straw.

And leaving now is not "throwing away" anything - her credits won't dissolve or disappear. They will just sit there waiting for her if she ever wants to pick it back up.

And the reality is the college requirement is a LIE. Yes its required for many jobs but no its not the only thing that cuts it for a good job these days. Heck these days many people are dropping their higher degrees off their resumes because having a masters and especially a doctorate hold people back from getting jobs. I have no degree. My income is well above the national average for a person with a 4 year degree. I have friends without degrees, they too make way closer to 100k then 50k a year. And I know plenty of people with degrees making less then 50k and paying off student loans into their 40's. Not having a degree takes hard work to make it, but its absolutely possible.

College is a path. And a very good path. But it is not the only path. Not getting a degree doesn't automatically equal throwing anything out, or derailing one's life, or extremely self-defeating.  it can be those things, for some people. But for others getting off the college track can be very empowering, enlightening, it can open doors, it can bring joy back into life, it can be the best choice out there.

And the reality is, even if it is the wrong choice - its always there to go back to. There is no age limit on going to college. You can be 18, 28 or 88 and they will still take you. So if its miserable and taking too long and making the OP cry at the mere thought of it, yes she should take a break from school and go out and live life. She can pick up her already established credits at any point down the line and just add to them.

Shoo

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Credits can and do expire.  If the OP quits now, she doesn't have an indefinite amount of time to return.  If she waits too long, she may have to start all over again.

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WillyNilly, you seem to be projecting an awful lot and getting quite defensive about the idea that dropping out of college might not be the best thing.

No one has said "No, you may not do this!!!!". Several people have said that the OP should carefully consider whether dropping out entirely is the right choice for her, or whether it's an overreaction. It might be a good choice, it might be a bad choice, but in any case, it's a choice that has consequences, and those consequences should be weighed.

FWIW, I dropped out of college and have a very stable and well-paying career, but that was the right choice for me. It might not be the right choice for the OP.
Utah

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WilyNily..I totally understand what you are saying...my own DD is not a classroom type.  But she has almost finished, and as stressful as it is, it is one guy in one class.  Drop the class.  Yes, kids get it drilled into them about college these days because life experience no longer cuts it for a good job.  If this was her first year, I'd say withdraw and take a break..but 4 years??  I hate to see anyone throw away all their hard work for one bump in the road (an annoying bump, but not insurmountable).  We run into a lot of Joe's in our work experience.  You either have to learn to deal with them or you will always be hiding under a rock.  OP, I know you are burnt out (been there, as we all have) but one person in one class should not cause you to walk away from it all.

There is also the fact that it's very difficult to convey the impact of bullying/hostility in work or school in text form. I was undoubtedly bullied by my Former Horrible Boss, but any attempt to explain it to someone who wasn't there makes it sound like I was flipping out over small incidents and being "too sensitive." I wasn't, but even some people who know me well and were even there for some of the incidents thought I was overreacting because they hadn't experienced the overall pattern of behavior, which was, frankly, vicious. Those kinds of reactions just feed into the gaslighting  - "See, everyone else thinks you're too sensitive, too! I'm trying to HELP you by insulting you and nitpicking constantly! You need this kind of micromanagement because you're too incompetent to do it on your own." Only, not in those words, as that would be too obvious.

The OP tried to get her problem resolved, and was blown off. She escalated, and was blown off. I wouldn't want to have anything more to do with that institution, either, if they're not willing to take concerns about a hostile environment seriously.

All that being said, OP, I think it would be good for you to formally withdraw, for the reasons mentioned above, as well as being able to officially, in your own mind, say, "Yes, I'm DONE with them." It could be a form of closure. You should be able to do it online or via email, so you shouldn't need to talk to them at all.

P.S. Bullying/hostile work and learning environments in academia has become something of a pet cause for me, given some of my experiences. There are a few resources out there, though not as many as there should be.

TurtleDove

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I am pretty sure having "fails" on one's academic record can have a very negative affect on whether that person is able to get into a different school. That is why so many of us are cautioning the OP to actually withdraw instead of just quitting.  Because if she wants to quit, then she should quit, but it is not true that she will always have the option of picking up where she left off.  With x number of "fails" on her record, she may not have the GPA required to get into a school.

ilrag

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I'm not the OP, but I can give a general answer.

The reality of this day & age is everyone is pretty much expected to go to college. Its talked about from when kids are a wee age, like back in first grade "someday when you go to college..." Its this huge cultural expectation. Its touted as the only way to be successful. Its the benchmark for many people to consider someone else smart, or datable, or worthy of being hired for even the most mindless of jobs. I mean look at this very thread "derail your entire life"? She's not derailing her entire life, shes dropping out of college. Trust me, her life won't fall of the skids and render her dead because of this one action! Calling her action, an action done to protect her emotional well being from daily crying jags as "extremely self-defeating"?

Another reality is - formal eduction and/or classroom learning are not for everyone. So a lot of people end up trying to squish their round brains into square classrooms. And they become miserable. And despite being bright, and insightful, and hardworking, they end up feeling stupid and useless and unworthy. Not because they are those things, but because they are following a path that might work for most people, but that doesn't work for them.

And when you are in that position. And paying for it - paying money, paying time, paying with your very soul as its sucked dry and bludgeoned to death - then something as inconsequential to others as annoying classmate, can become an intolerable hurdle.

I don't think that's the case at all.  30% of adults in America have a bachelor's degree - hardly everyone.  I know plenty of people with our degrees that are never made to feel stupid or useless or unworthy.

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/education/census-finds-bachelors-degrees-at-record-level.html?_r=0)

WillyNilly

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WillyNilly, you seem to be projecting an awful lot and getting quite defensive about the idea that dropping out of college might not be the best thing.

No one has said "No, you may not do this!!!!". Several people have said that the OP should carefully consider whether dropping out entirely is the right choice for her, or whether it's an overreaction. It might be a good choice, it might be a bad choice, but in any case, it's a choice that has consequences, and those consequences should be weighed.

FWIW, I dropped out of college and have a very stable and well-paying career, but that was the right choice for me. It might not be the right choice for the OP.

I'm getting defensive because people are throwing offensive words and phrases to the OP like "extreme overreaction", "derail your entire life", "throw away all [your] hard work", and "extremely self-defeating" along with telling her she "must" formally withdraw. That's some pretty harsh dog-piling for someone who came here already feeling pushed around and not listened to, and who admits the situation has her at tears just thinking about it. If I were the OP I'd be hoping someone would come to my defense!

The reality is while dropping out is probably not ideal, for now it might be the best realistic solution. Should she formally withdraw? Probably, yes. Must she?  No, she doesn't have to. And which ever she does, neither will have such devastating results on her life that the above quoted phrases are necessary.

Some credits might expire, but certainly all don't. And dropping out is not necessarily horrible on a record. I actually have returned to school - online, to a SUNY (State University of New York), a perfectly respectable fully accredited college. My having dropped out - not withdrawn, dropped out - in the past did not bar me entrance. And all of my credits (over 80) accumulated over the course of 18 years transferred with me, none had expired. Is mine a universal experience?  I'm sure its not. But it is my reality so its someone's else's possibility.

As I mentioned earlier, our culture drums the "you must go to college" mantra so deep into people's heads, I think its very important to counter that claim with the reality that success is possible without a degree. College is the best choice for many people, but not for all people; for some people, or at certain points in life, college is the worst choice.

Winterlight

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I am pretty sure having "fails" on one's academic record can have a very negative affect on whether that person is able to get into a different school. That is why so many of us are cautioning the OP to actually withdraw instead of just quitting.  Because if she wants to quit, then she should quit, but it is not true that she will always have the option of picking up where she left off.  With x number of "fails" on her record, she may not have the GPA required to get into a school.

Exactly. If you withdraw, you don't have that big blemish on your record. If you just walk away, that's not going to look so good.
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Nikko-chan

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To answer all of your questions, yes I am going to formally withdraw and explain the many reasons why. And it's not just Joe that's making me drop out. It's everything. It's the fact that instead of going to school and working on math... everything is online, but I still must show up to class (basically doing an online class in class, which makes me go O.o) and I can't for the life of me figure it out (I haven't been tested but I suspect I might have a LD regarding math, and I want to get tested first before I even TRY to go back to a math class) it's also the fact that another one of my teachers is actually a Doctor. And speaks like one. So its like Intro to whatever and he's telling us things like he would speak to medical students, when in fact... none of us are in medical school.

 Plus the online class. Mine wasn't really easy because the online teacher thought that his class was the only one I was taking. So it was like "Oh! Watch this two hour video, do these eight questions! Respond to at least eight people per week with well thought out answers! Nevermind that said students when they typed typed in broken English and I couldn't tell what they were saying and so, I couldn't respond. I'd sit there going... "Uh.... what do they mean?" Or then you'd get weeks where I was ready to respond but no one had answered yet. So it was all in all a really bad system for that class. Joe just threw it over the edge.

And there are other reasons I am dropping out. There was about two weeks there, where I was too depressed to even get out of bed, I spent most of that time sleeping. So I really need to get myself together before I even go to another school. I am just too mentally and emotionally drained to deal with people right now.