So you think you're "different," huh?

It's tough being different, isn't it? There's so much pressure to be just like that guy sitting next to you in class. You know the one... the one who tries to be like everybody else...like the one sitting next to him... and the one sitting next to her.

The thing is, if we were to get right down to it, all those guys are different, too. In spite of trying to "fit in," they all have their own issues, insecurities and fears. Really.
In fact, it's usually those insecurities that make some of them become bullies. One of the things adults and teens do at P.E.D.A. is work together to learn to embrace each others' differences, and in turn embrace our own differences.

Without learning to embrace who we are, we too often become awkward and intimidated. Because we may listen to different music or don't conform to popular ideas or cultural norms or have a particular sexual orientation, we sometimes experience social isolation, whether that isolation is of our own doing or the doing of others. Either way, situations like this can feel crippling. But they don't have to be.

If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, your peers and non-judging adults at P.E.D.A. are here to listen. Seeking advice is not a weakness; in fact, opening up to someone takes strength and courage.

Whether you're being bullied or just feel the need to connect, or if you know someone in these situations, please call the LIFELINE at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For further information on bullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov

Being Different - By Jason G., Commack
"I enjoy being different because I focus on the positive aspects of how I am different, and engage in pursuits that allow me to feel good about myself."

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