I’ve long made pained expressions whenever I hear that “high school is the best years of your life” pablum expressed, and I was one of those people who did actually have a pretty good time at high school (recognised for good grades, playing sport, playing music – I was moderately popular even). I was different (v.v. nerdy & a bit counter-culture), and I was teased for it sometimes, but never generally bullied or picked on relentlessly. I know now how lucky I was. Lots of kids, especially LGBTQ kids, do have a horribly alienating and traumatising time in school at the hands of their peers, and telling them that those years are supposed to be the best of their lives leads to despair about their future.
It’s so not true – life gets so much better once you’re making your way in the world away from the conformity factory of the school system: you can find people who are more like you, or at least as different from the norm as you, and you can form new friendships and communities where your differences either don’t matter or are celebrated. IT GETS SO MUCH FUCKING BETTER, LOOK FORWARD TO IT.
A group of Australian comedians have taken a break from the jokes to get serious about helping young Australians who are bullied or feel marginalised. Together, these comedians have come together to create a video to spread the message that no matter how bad things can get, to trust and believe that life does get better.
The It Gets Better (Australia) website at www.igba.org.au has more messages from other Australians about how much better it gets as you grow older too (and of course the other international affiliates of the It Gets Better campaign have their own messages for bullied teens).
The 14 Australian comedians include: Wil Anderson, Anne Edmonds, Hannah Gadsby, Justin Hamilton, Geraldine Hickey, Peter Helliar, Claire Hooper, Matt Kelly, Tommy Little, Kate McLennan, Xavier Michelides, Lawerence Mooney, Rhys Nicholson, Dave Thornton, Asher Treleaven and Wes Snelling.