Taylor Swift Suffered Bullying in School

01/27/2009 at 10:35 AM EST

Taylor Swift Suffered Bullying in School
Taylor Swift
She may be country music's darling, but Taylor Swift's life wasn't always so sweet.

"Junior high was actually sort of hard because I got dumped by this group of popular girls," the singer-songwriter, 19, tells Teen Vogue for its March issue, on sale Feb. 3.

"They didn't think I was cool or pretty enough, so they stopped talking to me."

Another reason she was singled out? "The kids at school thought it was weird that I liked country [music]," she says. "They'd make fun of me."

But all that changed in ninth grade when she moved from her hometown in Pennsylvania to Nashville and scored a record deal.

A year into her career, Swift returned to perform in the place where earlier she'd been mocked – and saw the girls who made her feel so badly about herself.

"They showed up, wearing my T-shirts and asking me to sign their CDs," says Swift. "It was bittersweet, because it made me realize that they didn't remember being mean to me and that I needed to forget about it, too."

Besides, she says, "Really, if I hadn't come home from school miserable every day, maybe I wouldn't have been so motivated to write songs. I should probably thank them!"

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