I think the only way you can really fend off bullies would be to show them that you won't be bullied.
Right from day one, if anyone tries to be funny with you, don't take it lying down. Stand up for yourself. Tell someone if you have to. You have every right to protect yourself hon and show people you are not going to put up with this crap.
Personally, while I can't say I have been bullied, there have definitely been a few people who would walk past me and make snide or offensive remarks. And the best way to deal with it would be to ignore them. After a while, they will get sick and tired of getting no response.
Of course, as I have said, if at any time, things get too bad or extreme for you to handle, tell someone. A family member, a teacher.
Think this would be more suited for Support Groups. Am moving it there.