Bullying can happen at any age, at any time of life. Preparing a child for how to deal with bullying is critical as it can impact post secondary education as well as the level of education they are currently dealing with. Bullying can start at any age and unfortunately, there is no end in sight. However, the reason that bullying takes place at any age is because it is allowed to happen. When bullying is going on, it needs to be shut down so the bullies don’t get the power that they are looking for.
Many parents like to choose home schooling as a means of “stopping” the bullying. However, this is only taking a child out of the situation temporarily. If a child is home schooled throughout elementary school, the bullying could occur throughout secondary schooling. Even if a child is home schooled all the way through graduation, they will not always be able to be in the shelter of a parent. When a child is not exposed to the bullying and see how it can be handled early on, it can pose a number of social problems down the road – and continue to haunt a person well into adulthood.
The hope is that most kids will make it into college or some form of higher education to prepare themselves for a career. Learning how to handle bullies prior to this time in a person’s life is critical to self-development as well as success in school.
What is Post Secondary Education?
Post secondary education is the form of education that is seen as “optional” and not funded by the government in any way. It is where people go to begin to distinguish themselves from everyone else for higher learning. Those who want to be doctors versus those who want to be mechanics and teachers will attend different styles of secondary education institutions.
Most people define post secondary education as college or university, but there are various other definitions as well. These can include:
– Tertiary education
– Technical schools
– Trade schools
The definition has grown as more schools and opportunities have opened for students based upon their goals in life. Not everyone is cut out to go to a four-year university. There are many careers that are available that require very little schooling and provide professional certifications necessary to prove to an employer that the skills are present.
It doesn’t matter what kind of voluntary additional education a person chooses to put themselves through. There can be bullying associated with it as a way of making one person feel bad in order to boost up the ego of another person or group. The bullying can be done by the smart kids or the not-so-smart kids, the popular kids, the nerds, the teacher’s pet, or anyone else.
How Does Bullying Occur at This Level?
Post secondary education means no more bullying, right? Wrong.
Many people assume that bullying goes away after a certain age. However, there are no limitations to when bullying stops and it is critical for people of all ages to realize this – including parents and students.
It’s all about giving the bully power. At this level, it happens because parents and teachers assume that it’s gone. They aren’t paying attention to the signs anymore. The bullies also know that the average university student isn’t going to go running to a teacher for help because it is not what is done at this age. This is when it becomes more dangerous because the victims feel as though they have no outlet. They must simply endure the bullying and hope that it will go away – and this is exactly why the problem continues. Bullying cannot be ignored. It must be dealt with. Each time that it is not dealt with quickly and appropriately, there are problems – and it can affect a number of students.
Research has been conducted from Indiana State University to show that there is both bullying and cyber bullying taking place at the post secondary education level. There hasn’t been a whole lot of research done on this level and much of it is believed to be that people assume that the maturity level has been reached. This is not the case.
There’s no age limit to bullying. The study that was conducted showed that approximately 22 percent of college students were being cyber bullied while 15 percent were being bullied. These statistics can increase when witnesses are asked about when they have seen bullying on campus or within social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
What’s the difference?
Cyber bullying: Cyber bullying involves online attacks, which can be even more socially devastating because of the number of people who can see the posts, photos, and other methods used to launch the attack. With the popularity of social media, cyber bullying is becoming more prevalent.
Bullying: Bullying can be verbal or physical where a person is being teased in an abusive manner in person. This can include to a person’s face or with flyers, gossip, and other physical means.
Bullying occurs at this level because it is allowed to go on. If a person is not aware of their environment, there are going to be bullies coming from every angle. A bully is a bully because of the power they get from it. They obtain the power by watching someone get upset as the victim. If a bully picks on someone and there is no reaction, the bully loses his or her power and a person is able to move on with their lives.
Often, a person who is bullied throughout primary and secondary education levels is bullied at a post secondary level as well. This is because of not receiving the emotional tools and support earlier on to effectively deal with the bullies. People who stay in the same geographic area for all of their schooling may also be more likely to experience the bullying because those bullies tend to stay in the same geographic area as well, which means there is no escape.
While moving is not always the answer, it can provide a person with a fresh start, particularly when they have reached the age of 18 and now need to learn how to deal with bullying as an adult. It is different at the post secondary level because it cannot involve parents and teachers as often, otherwise the bullying can get worse. A person needs to understand how to deal with the bullying so that it can stop – and so that the bully does not experience the rush of power from watching a person fall as the victim.
How Does the Bullying Impact the Victim?
A person who is bullied once learns how it can be damaging. There are choices that are made. A person can either learn how to deal with the bully, strengthen their self-confidence level, and move on or they can continue to be a victim because of letting the bully get the best of them.
There’s the saying of once a victim, always a victim.
People who don’t learn how to deal with bullies early on, including during post secondary education, are going to continue to have problems. If a person is still dealing with cyber bullying or face to face bullying at the university level, it is also likely something that is going to happen at the workplace – and this can be even more devastating because now it’s affecting one’s career.
A study in the U.S. (2) was conducted about bullying and it showed that approximately 37% of people in the workplace are being bullied. When witnesses are included, such as those who saw bullying taking place, the statistic goes up to 49%.
What happens during bullying at work?
– Bad emotional state
– Difficulty finding the courage to go to work
– Loss of productivity
– High level of employee turnover
– Employee absenteeism
– Higher number of workers’ compensation claims
– High levels of anxiety
Many people make the mistake of being unaware of the signs that they are being bullied in the workplace. They see it as a co-worker or boss simply being mean or abusive and haven’t learned to label it as bullying. It has been shown that bullying is more damaging in the workplace than sexual harassment.
What are the signs?
There are signs that a person is being bullied in the workplace – and these can be translated to post secondary education as well. The top 10 signs include:
1. Constant criticism
2. Work feels like misery
3. A lot of yelling
4. Mistakes are remembered
5. Lies and gossip
6. Being excluded from meetings and lunches
7. Mental health days are needed
9. Impossible schedule
10. Stealing credit on work
The bullying is going to impact everyone differently. Some people are going to be able to move past it without any issues. Other people are going to develop low self-worth and essentially be victims their entire lives. Bullies prey on the weak. Even if a person hasn’t been bullied in years and they still hold onto their past experiences, they are going to be prime fodder for the next bully, which could be at the university or within the workplace.
Bullies never go away, as has been proven with various studies. Even in the workplace, there are bullies. If a person hasn’t gotten control of the situation prior to entering post secondary schooling, they could be in a situation of being a victim for life – and this can lead to a number of psychological and social problems.
How Can Bullying Be Handled Prior to Reaching this Point?
A person needs to learn tactics when it comes to dealing with bullying and this means starting at an early age. Parents and teachers who do not want to see children growing up to become adults that are victimized by bullying needs to identify the signs of bullying and talk with students about what can be done.
A person doesn’t have to be the strongest or the smartest in order to get involved with bullying. All they need is a keyboard and an internet connection.
There are several ways that can be used to help stop bullying (and prevent it in the first place).
– Pay attention to the signs
– Don’t ignore what’s going on
– Do something the moment there’s bullying
– Remain calm
– Deal with each person individually
– Don’t require apologizing on the spot
– Hold even the people watching accountable
– Don’t pre-judge a situation
– Get professional help, including a psychologist or social worker involved
Every situation is different, but it involves multiple people. Children cannot simply shake hands and move on because that can lead to more animosity. A handshake is not going to clear up the animosity between the two children. It must be handled on a greater level.
It’s also important to note that some children are going to be able to overcome a situation faster than others. One child may be bullied, accept it, and move on. Another child may take the bullying to heart and suffer emotionally from it – which can then take a toll on grades, social behavior, and much more. Being able to know a child and which category they fall into is critical to ensure they get the mental support needed to deal with bullying.
Although the post secondary education definition can vary, it is important to know about the various ways and locations for a person to be bullied throughout one’s education. There’s no age limit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop once a person graduates or turns 18. Without learning to deal with it effectively at a young age, a person can continue to be a victim throughout post secondary schools as well as on through the workplace.