People dint use to go to college in the early history. Harvard was the first college, founded in 1636. The college aimed at training few young and promising puritan colony sons, to serve as the ministers, public officials and magistrates of the next generation. Early colleges were then founded to maintain particular religious perspectives. Those individuals, who wanted to further their education in other professionals other than government officials or church ministers, went to practical schools rather than of latin schools that prepared individuals for college. Practical schools used to be like vocational high schools that emphasized on writing, reading and mathematics. Skills such as trading, ship building and farming were also taught there. Latin schools dint have the practical lessons in arithmetic, agricultural science, English or bookkeeping (Good and Teller, 1973).
Growth took place after the revolutionary war and a college degree started being a status symbol for an elite. To better the family name, the businessmen or farmers would take the sons to be educated in the colleges, without thinking that those institutions were preparing people to become church people or government servants. Meanwhile, education to prepare young men expanded rapidly. Law schools, engineering schools, finance and accounting schools and medical schools were growing rapidly. The professional schools became college alternatives rather than study courses that could be taken in colleges or programmes that could be entered after college graduation. The first PhD was awarded in Yale in 1876 (Bailey and Rom, 2014).
200 years after the founding of the first college, most private institutions, supported by churches and other benefactors, had started cropping up. Morrill Act of 1862 gave each State in America 30,000 acres of land per congressional delegation. The land could be sold and the money used as endowment, maintenance or support of at least a college (Fryar and Hawes, 2014). This led to a dramatic change of state universities and colleges founded across the nation. With the resources available for large institutions of higher learning, some universities started claiming to be the best in offering practical and classical education. Private learning institutions rose with best curriculums to compete with the public institutions. This has led to thousands of colleges and universities being founded.
Millions of people live with mental illnesses and mental health problems such as obsessive compulsive disorders, personality disorders, social anxieties and drug addiction. However, for students, bullying can be another result of mental problems.
Bullying is the unwanted aggressive behaviour onto some people. It involves imbalance of perceived or real power. Some example of power imbalance include; several students in higher education institutions ganging up on one, bigger or stronger individual, or a person who is perceived as being more important than the others due to stature. Bullying is more prevalent in schools (Dunne,Sabates, Bosumtwi-Sam and Owusu, 2013).
Types of bullying
The main categories of bullying that cause mental health problems include; physical, verbal and emotional bullying. Other forms of bullying are; cyber-bullying, disability, gay, legal, parental, prison and school bullying (Bullying, 2014). When the term bullying is mentioned, most people think about bullying that occurs in higher education institutions. Students who witness bullying may avoid intervening or taunting victims so that they avoid being the next target.
Verbal bullying involves; bully students making offensive jokes, calling names, scrutinizing one’s race, ethnicity, socio status, religion and colour. Individuals suffering from this type of bullying may not show emotions right away, but as time elapses, the signs of mental disturbances begin to show. Threats are also part of verbal bullying (Schneider, O’Donnell, Stueve and Coulter, 2012)
Emotional bullying involves an aggressor attacking an individual at an emotional level. This is common in relationships where an individual makes statements in such a way so as distress the other (Schneider et al., 2012). This may also happen through rumour spread in the college or campus, failing to involve an individual in certain activities, making statements to hurt others and even refusing to communicate with the individual.
Physical bullying is the most common and oldest type of bullying in the higher education institutions. Here, physical force is used. It might involve spiting, kicking, punching or even shoving. The bully is usually larger than the victim or it might be a group. The reason for this type of bullying is mostly to show superiority and control (Dunne et al., 2013).
Cyber-bullying involves inflicting harm on an individual using technology. Most students in colleges and in campus are provided with tablets, digital cameras, cellular phones, laptops and other gadgets. These gadgets make it easier for people to bully others. This can happen by passing a text around the class or campus. Hacking a person’s webpage and altering contents is a form of cyber-bullying. Worse cases happen when individuals post physical abuse videos to the internet (Schneider et al., 2012).
Studies have shown that students are not the only bullies in these higher learning institutions. Instructors, security guards, staff members, teachers or even the principal have also been noted to bully students.
Other forms of bullying are evident in the learning institutions. Disability bullying may happen on the physically disabled and to those with special needs. Gay bashing is bullying that targets gay individuals (refusal to associate or talk to them). Legal bullying uses legal systems to punish or control individuals or organizations. Parental bullying involves parents displacing their insecurities or making their children angry. Prison bullying is mostly evident among inmates. Some cases have also been documented on prisoners bullying prison staff or prison staff bullying prisoners (Types of bullying, 2014).
Effects of bullying
Victims of bully suffer from various effects. The greatest of which affects their mental health. They fail in their thinking. Once they are not well mentally, the following other effects occur; at school, they start performing poorly in academics. Most fear walking to or from school. They no longer care about education, this lead them to dropping out of school. Some may even attempt suicide. Most victims become absentees as they try to escape bullies. Some bullies take the victim’s food, making them spend hungry days in school. Victims usually lose confidence and they become withdrawn, they may even start stammering. The victim becomes anxious, distressed and may even acquire depression. They victim spend most of their time crying when they are alone, especially during bedtime. This can even lead them to experience nightmares. When it is time that everyone is eating, the victims are observed to lack appetite. In the cases of physical bullying, the victims have bruises, scratches and cuts all over their bodies (Juvonen and Graham, 2014).
Emotionally bullied persons may blame themselves on things that they shouldn’t. in the process of their reactions, the victims have been seen to harm themselves. Most of the time, due to unfavorable environments, the victims feel ill or they become physically ill. The major effect that victims experience, due to emotional bullying is poor mental health. This causes individuals not to think straight and their behaviors change, instead of them behaving normally. At other times, ironically, the victims over-eat the foods that they are comfortable with.
Reasons for bullying
Studies indicate that bullies suffer from low self-esteem and they lack confidence. They may be suffering from violence in their homes. They may be reacting to sufferings from painful changes that they are facing in their lives, like divorce or bereavement. Low self-esteem may also be as a result of poor performance in school. Other factors that lead to school violence include having the history of violence in the school. Drug, tobacco and drug use may also cause individuals to become perpetrators as they feel superior to others. Individuals associating with felonious peers can lead to one becoming a bully (Juvonen and Graham, 2014).
Maintaining mental health
To ensure that every student is healthy mentally, bullying can be prevented and stopped. For serious cases of bullying, investigations should be carried out and a systematic treatment involving bullies taken. The nature of bullying will help determine the best course of action to be undertaken.
Bullying may also be prevented by creating confidence in students so that they avoid engaging in violent acts that they think would raise their self-esteem. This can be done by counseling them in case they go through painful family problems such as divorces. Use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol should totally be prohibited in the school premises bully (Juvonen and Graham, 2014). Students should be talked to, to give them advice to avoid them joining felonious peers who may want to engage them into those poor habits.
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