Jared Thomas


For those who don’t know me, you may recognize me by my many talents. My burps on command have been known to ring across campus. You may also have seen me jump over the railing while sometimes holding a laptop bag.

Two adjectives that I can use to describe myself are both kind and shy. For those that think these aren’t the worst qualities to have, you’re not wrong, but honestly, speaking from experience, they don’t always mix well together. Being shy and being too nice has limited me, and at times has stopped me from saying what I want to say or doing what I want to do for fear of standing out. Some of you have probably noticed this and thought I was uninterested or maybe even entitled (and I do apologize for it and any future actions) if in any way I come across that way because that is nowhere close to what I am feeling. I just don’t know what to say sometimes and how to say it. Despite all that, I do my best to be kind to as many other people as I can.

“Treat others the way you want to be treated.” That’s the rule I’ve tried to follow my whole life and still try to, to this day. Now I’m not perfect and mess up every now then and I can’t help that I often think about what I could’ve done better or how I could have been nicer.
Now, when I say I try to be kind to everyone that includes bullies as well. Every time I bring up that I was bullied, people are always confused on how and why it happened. Actually, I encouraged it. I’m not saying I deserved it or asked to be called names everyday, but it’s because these bullies were also my “friends” as well. I stayed with these guys and throughout my sixth-grade year, we would hang. At school though, they would always pick on me call me names and insult me. Yet I was still nice to them because I couldn’t be rude back. I’m not saying every moment I had with them was bad, we had some fun moments, but sometimes they crossed the line.

You might have some questions. Why didn’t I just ditch them and find other friends? It was because I had nowhere else to go, being in a class of nine students. Being by yourself is terrible. Why didn’t I tell the teacher or some other adult? The complaining and crying just ended up with long talks that I didn’t want to hear, plus I thought it was all a part of growing up.

Now, this speech isn’t going to end with the whole, “I stood up for myself against the bullies”. At least not in the way you might think. Eventually, the bullying died down and I left the school after 6th grade. If I were to go back today and relive it I definitely would have acted differently. But one thing I would not have changed is I would have still been nice. I believe you can always choose to be nice no matter what. Some people think being nice is weak, but I see it as a strength. You might come out bruised, scarred, and exhausted but it’ll show the world that nothing can change your attitude. In the end, nothing can bring you down if you don’t let it.