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Maria Sacalas

Faces of Suffolk

Maria Sacalas

I was born in Bucharest, Romania. My school years were not easy; I was about 13/14 years old when my mum got really sick. I was about to go through a difficult exam at the time and my mum wasn’t feeling well…if my dad hadn’t gone to her at that moment, she wouldn’t be here anymore. It was a really hard time. My mum and I are really close - I can tell her everything and we talk nearly every single day.

Throughout school I was bullied a lot for my looks, my teeth, my face. My mum would always tell me not to listen but it was normal for her to say that. Friendship was honestly one of the hardest things for me to achieve both as a kid and even now, because I’m different and I have a different personality to a lot of people.

Sometimes I was bullied because I wasn’t very studious in high school. Most people never thought I would achieve what I have; moving to the UK and studying for my degree. The bullying made me realise that my life is worth something. It made me stronger and more ambitious – I wanted to prove I’m someone who can do something with her life. After I graduate, my ambition is to go in to wedding planning or event planning.

Don’t listen to the bullies. If you feel discouraged by them, you won’t achieve anything. You know who you are; they don’t get to decide that for you.

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