Let’s Talk: The Things We Carry

By The Beacon | February 3, 2016 4:28pm

Beth Biggs |


In life, we all overcome many obstacles and challenges. We all have come from different walks of life, carrying different experiences with us. The things we carry often define who we have become, and how we feel about ourselves.

When I look into the mirror, sometimes I still see a homely little 10-year-old girl, with a round face, freckles, glasses, and braces covering crooked teeth. The things that I carry with me today are ingrained in me from a very young age.

I remember feeling left out from the time I was in Kindergarten. I always had a hard time finding other kids to play with. It was then that I began to learn to play alone. In third grade, it went from just being left out, to being talked about and made fun of for my glasses, freckles, crooked teeth, and being a spaz on the basketball court.

In fourth grade, a group of girls created something like an “I hate Beth” club. I was constantly teased and tormented for my looks, lack of athleticism, and being a little slower than others in the classroom. Even though I carried a heavy load, I was always optimistic for the future, and I would pray every night for tomorrow to be a better day. The bullying became too much for me to handle, and it wasn’t a healthy environment where I felt safe, so I switched schools halfway through fifth grade.

Like a lot of people, I have tried to erase middle school from my mind. I hated the bus rides home; that’s where all of the worst stuff happened. I was verbally assaulted, had my hair pulled, reminded how ugly I was, and told that I shouldn’t even be here on this earth.

Once high school came around, it was really hard to make friends. I carried all of that bullying from my childhood around with me, which made making friends a challenge. Once everyone developed friend groups, and I realized that I didn’t have one, I felt defeated and alone. When I came to college, I refused to let that part of my past repeat itself.

I told myself that I will not be alone, I will be myself, I will make friends, and I will be happy. While my appearance and personality may be different than it was ten years ago, I still carry my past with me. While the experiences that I carry with me has caused a lot of pain, it has made me a stronger person, while optimistic for the future because I know it gets better, and giving up will never be an option.

With an increase in suicides in the US and across the world, attention has been drawn to the connection between bullying and suicide. While many people view bullying as part of growing up, it is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. It has lead to many long-term effects for its victims, including being susceptible to abusive relationships, and suicide.

In my case, I am thankful that my experience with bullies has not led me to take my own life, or even attempt to. Being a victim of bullies has proven to be one of the biggest struggles of my life that I carry with me, but I am living proof that it does get better.

We all struggle, let’s struggle together.




Beth Biggs is a sophomore organizational communications major and can be reached at biggse18@up.edu. Beth is a member of Active Minds, a group on campus dedicated to educating our community about mental health and demonstrating that people are not alone in their mental health struggles.


Mental Health Resources:

UP Health and Counseling Center: 503-943-7134

Multnomah Mental Health Crisis Line: 503-988-4888


Education Resources:

Active Minds: activemindsup@gmail.com or facebook.com/activemindsatup