2018, Andrea Oliva, HWRA, Dixie HS, Awardee

Apr 24, 2018

My whole life I was taught to want success in everything, whether it was school, sports, or just life, I strived for greatness. When I moved to this country, not knowing the English placed a giant barrier in my success. Around two years later, in the third grade, I was at the top of my class. All throughout my education, I worked hard in school and received straight A’s. I averaged a 4.0 all Freshman and Sophomore year, but during my Sophomore year of basketball season, I met a girl who we’ll call B. I never would have thought one person could change my life forever. We started out as teammates then became good friends. At one of our teammates birthday party, I introduced B to one of my good guy friends. It wasn’t my intention to hook them up, but that’s where it led. As they became more serious, B said I was getting in the way of their “relationship” and she forced him to choose, keep in mind him and I were just friends. He didn’t want to choose, which made her more upset and that’s when it all began. Later on, all our friends got together for some ice cream and her boyfriend came along. B somehow found where we were and shortly after her mom arrived and began verbally harassing me. She called me every name in the book, and threatened in order to stay away from her daughter and him. That day, I realized I was willing to lose my friend in order to avoid all the drama. I kept my distance for the year and all summer, yet two nights before Junior year began, I got home from work that day to find B’s parents sitting in my living room conversing with my parents. B’s mom said her daughter was in a terrible mental state at the moment and had attempted to end her life due to me bullying her. I hadn’t seen nor talked to B for months and suddenly I was being framed for bullying. B’s determined mom had informed the school wanting to make me pay for something I had no part in. I spent my first day back in my coaches office crying, she told me that I would be kicked off the team and possibly be suspended. Meanwhile B’s mom was attempting to create a lawsuit against me, I did everything I could to defend myself, but it was her word against mine. She presented a convincing case, because who wouldn’t take suicide seriously? I was sequentially taken out of class to be interrogated on the situation, while my every move was caught by the school cameras reassuring them I didn’t do anything else. There was nothing I could do, B kept making false accusations about me bullying her. To my advantage they found no proof on camera so everything remained “normal”, yet nothing was truly normal. My every move was watched, B continued to make false accusations, and I was continually pulled out of class. I would cry of frustration every day, while I stopped attending school regularly my grades soon dropped. For the first time ever I didn’t care, I had given up while no one believed me. My only way to handle the situation was to avoid it. Because of this, I fell into depression and realized I no longer cared. I was accused of bullying, when in reality I was the one being bullied. After months of torture, and one last call to the office, I broke down. I made sure they knew that I was ultimately done fighting. As I got bullied by B and her mom, it was me who cried nightly, I cut out everyone in my life that I was close to, and it was me who was depressed. Finally they called me down to the office to inform me that they hadn’t found proof of me bullying, but realized the roles were reversed. Finally someone took my side and felt sympathy towards me, they knew the accusations weren’t true, and were no longer going to allow more problems. I was permitted to play basketball again, and I had never felt such relief. I began attending school regularly again, but it was nearly impossible and I ended the year with unsatisfying grades. One thing I learned and now live by, is “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other”-Walter Elliot.

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