Even in my case, the first time I was staying away from home was at age 17, during my College of Engineering Trivandrum Kerala days. Right out from the cocoon of parental love, affection and care, out into the world - to fend all on my own. Learnt a lot about life ..
As they say, even though you wish it away, the scars are not that easily erasable.
It was immature thinking on the part of the bullies then, but time does not wait. The bullies realise it later and feel really sorry. We can only forgive them !