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Adulthood means a grave responsibility to address problems adolescents face

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The documentary “Bully” sheds light on an issue that has not often been thought about. Like many issues that arise in youth, bullying is often treated as a given with any childhood. It is a sad phenomenon, we all agree, but like war and bloodshed, it is a burden that must be.

Let us not forget what power we have in ameliorating injustices and what responsibility that imposes upon us. As college students, although peer pressure and social cadence do not leave us, we are not as likely to be exposed to bullying as we once were in elementary and high school. Entering the adult world leaves us with a higher responsibility to speak out and protect the younger in our lives from bullying.

If we have not already, at some point in the future, we will all have to interact with kids prone to be affected by bullying. If you tutor kids or have younger siblings or relatives, and if there are kids in your life who look up to you as adults, take your relationship with them seriously. You might be the only person they would trust to confide in with their problems.

The transition from elementary and secondary education to the apparent adulthood of college takes root in understanding what being an adult means. Responsibility and maturity are vague terms we are forced to define for ourselves as we take this journey to adulthood, but a big part of adulthood is being wary of the younger ones in our lives and understanding the responsibility we have toward them.

Most kids who fall victim to bullying and suffer greatly for it are ones who do not get the attention they need for one reason or another. They are made to feel inferior and the bullying seeps into their conscience, while they should have the strength to resist peer pressure and deprecation. Let us be adults and the source of this strength for those who lack it.

Beside the responsibility of setting a good example and behaving kindly with adolescents, we must develop the maturity to give good advice and be good ears for them.

If a bullied student cannot confide about his or her bullying with parents or other family members, we must step up and be the adult they can confide in and develop a culture of trust and confidence, a culture of listening, a culture of responsibility.

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