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Hoda Kotb Recalls Being Bullied During 'Really Tough' Middle School Years: 'I Never Brought It Up'

"I kind of went along with what other people were doing, which is a mistake," Kotb said on Tuesday's episode of 'Today with Hoda & Jenna'

<p>John Nacion/Getty</p> Hoda Kotb attends Hudson River Park Friends 8th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon on March 8, 2024 in New York City.

John Nacion/Getty

Hoda Kotb attends Hudson River Park Friends 8th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon on March 8, 2024 in New York City.

Hoda Kotb sympathizes with today's youth.

While discussing her childhood insecurities with her Today with Hoda & Jenna co-host Jenna Bush Hager, Kotb, 59, revealed that she used to get bullied in middle school.

"I remember sitting in the front of the bus and listening to people make fun of me and just [wanting] the bus to get to school," Kotb said during Tuesday's broadcast. "And I remember the feeling of, 'Just end this bus ride and get me to school.' But just so you know, if you have kids or are going through a really tough middle school year, don't worry."

Bush Hager, 42, recalled being dumped by a middle school boyfriend and said those years were "tough for everyone."

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty</p> Hoda Kotb (left) and Jenna Bush Hager on 'Today' in January 2023

Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty

Hoda Kotb (left) and Jenna Bush Hager on 'Today' in January 2023

Related: Jenna Bush Hager Says Middle School Boyfriend Dumped Her When He Saw Her in a Bathing Suit

"I don't know one person who is like, 'Guess when I was at my prime? Middle school!' Cause it's hormonal," she continued. "You don't really know who you are or what to do, therefore, you act out."

Kotb agreed and said she was "one of those people who was kind of a pleaser."

"I kind of went along with what other people were doing, which is a mistake," the mom of two explained, noting that she never felt like she could talk to anyone about it.

"I never brought it up to my parents ever. And maybe to a friend, sort of? I just think I was more of a 'Let's push through' kind of thing," she continued. "Cause I think back then, I don't think that kids were so expressive."

Kotb said one of her bullies included a "girl who always threatened to beat me up."

"I was so scared of her," she recalled. "And she kept saying, 'If I see you in the bathroom...' And I didn't even know her! I was like, 'Why do you want to beat me up?' I had no idea why. But I know I never mentioned it. I didn't mention it. I just navigated it."

<p>Hoda Kotb/Instagram</p> Hoda Kotb with her daughters Hope and Haley

Hoda Kotb/Instagram

Hoda Kotb with her daughters Hope and Haley

Related: Hoda Kotb Shares Her Pre-Date Pump-Up Song and How She Stays True to Herself (Hint: 'Not Get a Salad') (Exclusive)

Kotb previously opened up to PEOPLE about how she stays resilient during the Hudson River Park Friends 8th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon earlier this month.

"I learned that usually hope's always apparent, but you have to seek it out. It's not coming to you," she said. "It's not knocking on your door and going, 'Hi.' You have to go find it. So it's really where you fix your gaze in life."

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"So I think it's important to set your eyes where you want to be, with the people you want to be, focusing on the thing you want to focus on," she continued. "Because if you're with a bunch of complaining friends, you're going down with them. Okay? You find your lane and ride it."

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