Aim for success

It all started when I was 11, or maybe even before then. But I became fully aware that what was happening to me wasn't normal at the age of 11, it was bullying. I was constantly teased, pushed around, laughed at and at times spat on. I have convinced myself that this happens to everyone, that it's just a part of being a kid, a part of being in school, a part of growing up. 

When I became fully aware that this was bullying, I decided that enough is enough. I started standing up for myself, stopped people from stepping all over me. But then that led to getting into trouble for all the fights I got into, for defending myself, and eventually that led to being bullied by different members of staff. They humiliated me, destroyed what was left of my confidence and even worse, made me believe that I would never succeed in life. 

Everyday I entered the gates to my school, I would be verbally abused, this time not only by the students, but also by the staff. Everyday, I would have someone pull my headscarf off my head at least 10 times a day. The whole school was against me. I had no one. I made my parents believe that I was fine, that I have friends that I went to my classes. When the truth was I was not fine, I was dying inside, I did not have friends, I spent my break and lunch hiding out in the toilets and that the teachers did everything they could to put me in isolation instead of putting me in my classes. 

At the age of 13, 2 girls from my year approached me. They offered me a shoulder to cry on, they offered me their heart, their friendship. Just when I felt like I had nothing to live for, just when I was about to end my life God sent me my best friends. Even though I was still being bullied, I had them. They stood by my side, they made me laugh, they made me feel like someone. I didn't feel like an outcast anymore. 

But the years of abuse from that school did have an outcome to it, I became a lot angrier, I became more violent and I turned off my humanity. I started fighting everyone, both students and teachers; somehow hoping to get suspended from my school. My best friends still stuck by my side. Eventually my parents found out how miserable I was. That's when they decided to move me to a different high school. One where I felt safer, where I can be me, where I had support from both students and staff. I was still angry, but I managed to channel all my anger and violence into my art. Drawing and designing has become the source of relief.

Fast forward to today, I'm a 20 year old student, studying Interior Design at a University in London, I have pushed myself to become a better person, and what fuels me everyday are the hurtful words that my teachers used to say to me, "you're nothing", "you'll never succeed in life", "you won't make it to University".

Well look who's laughing now. I'm stronger, more confident, proud Muslim woman and with the greatest support team, my family and friends. I've never given up on life from that point, and my number one priority has become helping people who are struggling with bullying. It might not seem like a serious issue to some people, but they clearly don't know the level of impact that has one a kid. 

I don't know if anyone out there is reading this, but no matter who you are, you do have someone out there and everything will be okay. Don't let others bully you and don't let others bully anyone around you. Become a community, become the voice of the voiceless, AIM FOR SUCCESS! 

My name is Nora and this is my story. Have a nice day and God bless

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