What was your worst experience in middle school or high school? Did it have a lasting effect on you? Do you think you learned anything positive from it?
Let's see how cathartic this isn't...
At Primary School (5 - 8 years) and the first half of Middle School (8 - 12 years) I wasn't really aware of bullying. I had best friends, and just enjoyed my time at school.
Then midway through Middle School my best friend left and went to private school, and I was sort of left a bit shellshocked. I made other friends, but none that quite rivalled the best friends I'd had to that point.
Also I started to come across what was relatively light bullying at the time, which was a new thing for me. And not unlike other folks, I didn't like it.
Then I went from my 200 kid Middle School to a 1,000 kid Comprehensive school (12 - 16 years). Rather than having a best friend I had a group of friends, but it was all far more confrontational and boisterous than before, and I wasn't the confrontational or boisterous type. Somewhat light bullying was the norm as well, and I hated even the light stuff.
Then in the second year of Comprehensive School there was a skiing holiday in Andorra, organised by the school. I'm not sure why I decided to go, other than some of my friends were going. The problems started on the coach trip out there. There were two top-of-the-social-ladder first years on the trip, and they started to pick on me. Despite being in a lower year it pushed my buttons, and I burst into tears. And it only got worse from there, with constant bullying throughout the holiday. They would try and knock me off my skis at every opportunity they could, although I can at least say they never managed it.
I hated the whole holiday, wished I wasn't away from home, and basically felt miserable. Of course after a week I did go home and it was all over, and I never really saw the first years again.
If I saw them again though, even now, I suspect I'd gladly punch them in the face.
That was the experience that had the most effect on me, and it still annoys me to this day, so did have a lasting effect. I'm still sensitive to bullying, and arguably sensitive full stop. I wouldn't say this was the cause of it per sé, but just a milestone event as far as school went.
There was nothing positive about it that I can think of. I didn't come out of it having learned anything. I was just thoroughly miserable.