Aija Mayrock has THIS advice for those going through bullying!
Teen best selling author, activist and entertainer Aija Mayrock talks about her own bullying experience. Read what advice she has!
Aija Mayrock is a teen best-selling author, activist and an entertainer, who turned her own bullying experience into a positive force. Now, Aija is an inspiration to many kids and teens around the world. In her own words, “There is so much going on in our world today that not only affects our here and now, but also affects our future.”
In her bid to “draw attention to these issues,” Aija decided to give a voice to the voiceless through writing and through film. Our contributor Prionka Ray talks to Aija about her bullying experiences, and how she is committed to making a difference.
You were bullied as a child and later as a teen. Did you tell anyone at that time?
Aija: I didn’t really tell anyone for a long time. I was so scared that people would think that I was weird and I was the reason for the bullying. Eventually, I told my parents. They were so incredibly supportive. I always regret not telling them for so many years and I encourage every single kid to find someone (an adult) in their life to speak to.
How did the bullying experience affect you?
Aija: For many years, my bullying experience affected me negatively. I was depressed, withdrawn, and so afraid of what everyone thought of me.Over the course of time, I decided to turn my experiences into positive things.
I wrote a book, became a motivational speaker, and have worked with/spoken to over 3 million kids to date. I feel so lucky to have been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and turn the bad into good.
Tell us about your book. What is it about?
Aija: My book is called “The Survival Guide to Bullying.” It is half memoir/half guide. My intention for the book was to create something that any kid, teacher, parent, or anyone could read when they needed help, advice, or solace. I wrote it as if I was their friend.
From a young girl who thought she was not ‘good enough’ to now an empowered performer and author who doesn't fear looking the issue straight in the eye, there seems to be a journey. How did this journey/ transformation take place? What changed?
Aija: I think my journey began when I hit rock bottom in the bullying experience. When I was a freshman in high school, a girl that I had never met dressed up as me for Halloween. The cyber bullying attack went viral and I was at my lowest low. I wanted to run away from everything - the bullies, the Internet and myself.
A few weeks later, I saw a story about a boy who committed suicide because he was bullied. To me - he looked like the popular guy - the person that would never be bullied. And yet he was and he saw no hope to the point where he took his life. In that moment I realised that if I didn’t take a stand for kids all over the world, then who would? That’s when I began the journey.
What would your advice be to those who are going through bullying?
Aija: 1) NEVER go through bullying alone.
2) Make a top 5 list of the people in your life that you trust. Have many conversations with them.
3) Ask for their help.
4) Find a passion - something that makes you happy, makes you feel alive. Give 100% of yourself to that passion.
5) Do things that help you build confidence and belief in yourself.
(And there are a million more tips that you can find in my book)
“Stand tall wherever you may be.
Look around and allow yourself to see.
This planet needs you and me.
We are the future.
Don't you see?”
Check out one of Aija's awesome performances dedicated to anti-bullying: