My name is Aarani and I’m from Bangladesh. I live in the Rangpur region. My family and I had to move to another part of the country because there were no jobs in my hometown. When I started school everyone could tell I was different to them. People made fun of me and called me names because I looked different. I felt lonely because I had no one to talk to. I decided to call my best friend from home, Barnini to tell her what was going on. She reminded me that I matter. She helped me realise my unique strengths and great personality. Just as she did, I’d soon make friends who loved me and deserved my friendship.
She also taught me that beauty comes from within and is not based on what other people think of me. Her words really gave me the encouragement I needed to face the bullies at school.
Over the phone she taught me a really good exercise to boost my confidence. I got a sheet of paper and wrote down all the negative things people had been saying about me in school. When I was done I crushed the paper and threw it in the bin. #byehaters then I got another sheet of paper and together with my bestie I wrote down all the positive things about myself and took it with me everywhere.
Now every morning or whenever I feel down I read out loud that I am strong, I am valuable, I am gifted, I am amazing! Seeing myself this way gives me the confidence boost I need to meet new people and make real friends.
What would I do without my bestie? Even though we are miles apart she still taught me how to believe in myself and build my confidence. That’s what friendship is about, you have to build each other up. Barnini has been my rock through everything and I’m going to keep making her proud by following her advice and saying BYE BYE to negativity. People will always have something to say but with great friends around me I’m choosing to focus on the positives!