Student Post: Hope Lives On

Updated: September 2, 2020

By Fiza Batool
Government College University, Lahore, Pakistan
Class of 2021

Nobody likes unexpected guests, especially when the unexpected guest is a virus that eventually turns into a pandemic. But while life is not always rainbows, sunshine,and lollipops, we can all learn to deal with challenges and inconveniences—especially young people, who have lots of energy and resilience.

Every year, we all come up with our New Year’s resolutions, plans, and schemes. Those resolutions are usually to earn that course certificate you had always wanted, to visit all your dream destinations, to submit assignments on time, or to spend more time with friends and family. For me, my resolution going into 2020 was to not waste my time anymore and try to land a job. Contrary to my expectations, it was going well, and for the first time, I actually thought my New Year’s resolution was going to pay off. I was determined to make my dreams come true by being productive and securing a job that would guarantee satisfaction and money.

I applied to an English content writing internship post I had come across on social media and received a notification to appear for an interview a few days later. The interview went great, and I was highly satisfied with myself and their proposed offer. I accepted it and was excited to start as the company’s English content writer in March. The office was located in New Garden Town, Lahore, and I was eagerly looking forward to it. However, my excitement wasn’t meant to last long. One day, I received a call from the manager of the hiring agency. Before I even picked up the phone, I sensed that there was something wrong.

Remember that unexpected guest we all dislike? Well, this time that guest came and settled in for good. The call was to inform me that my internship had been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was greatly upset by the news, and for two weeks, I was in a dark, deep dungeon of hopelessness. Then, one of my friends came and talked to me, consoled me, and told me that she would do everything in her power to help me realize my resolution. And help she did.

She referred me to a person she had once worked for and asked me to contact him. I did as she asked, and though I was unsure about landing another internship due to COVID-19 and the competitive economy, he was gracious enough to offer me a similar job in English content writing. There was just one difference, and it was a blessing to say the least: the internship was remote. A remote internship meant I could work without risking my or anyone else’s health. I immediately accepted the offer and was more than thankful to my friend for instilling in me the strength to get an internship once again. It was also a blessing that I was able to extract myself from that dungeon of hopelessness. That hope allowed me to find the confidence to let the hiring manager know I was a perfect fit for his job.

At this point, I finally realized that every cloud does have a silver lining. COVID-19 rattled the whole world, and though my world wasn’t any different from anyone else’s, I was able to make the best of a bad situation, with some help from my personal network. I learned the importance of having genuine friends who are always there to help you and of cultivating a dynamic and influential personal network that works towards mutual growth and development. It felt super empowering knowing that I had people in my life I could lean on in difficult times.

Speaking to your friends feels liberating, and it can also prove to be extremely fruitful. While you should speak to your friends about the challenges you are facing, you also want to take advantage of your network and use your resources to make the best of it. If you don’t speak to your friends and instead continue to dwell on your hopelessness, you won’t be able to create a solid personal network.

I also learned that being hopeless is futile. Everything has its own time, and that thing, whether it’s a permanent job, an internship, a summer trip, or even your graduation day, won’t come into being one minute early or one minute later than its actual time. It will materialize only when the time is right and when you least expect it. You will eventually get what you’ve been waiting for, or maybe something even better will come along. Landing a new internship after the other one was canceled brought me a feeling that can’t be described in any one word. My new remote internship was a dream come true, and I could not wish for anything better. It was the best of both worlds.

As a remote intern, I am more productive, spend more time with my family, eat good food, develop healthy habits, and exercise more. But most importantly, I am happily working as an English content writer, writing content and earning good money while staying safe at home. The early summer holidays gave me a chance to complete all my pending projects, and with more time, I am able to bring out the best in not just the content I produce, but everything that I do.

This internship has done a lot for me during this difficult time. It’s kept me from losing my mind due to the lockdown. I have also been able to generate a steady income, so I can provide financial assistance for my family and myself. I am utterly grateful for the opportunity, and I am so glad that I displayed determination and hope.

My ongoing remote internship is supposed to last through 2020; however, it might be extended for another year. This means that I have plenty of time to gain substantial experience, polish my skills, and earn money to support my family and my education. When you are working remotely as an intern, it is very important that you develop trust and build credibility because it has the potential to open many doors to new and wonderful opportunities. Developing a strong work ethic; being genuine, consistent, and sincere at what you do; and being accountable for your actions can help you establish yourself as credible and increase your value in the eyes of your employer.

Last but not least, know that hopelessness is hard, and coming out of it can be really difficult until and unless you manage to keep the fire of faith, no matter how small, burning. It is always faith and the company of good people that keeps you going. When you stand face to face with a situation that you might think is too big to handle, just remember that there are people who once faced similar demons, fought bravely, and are now equipped with all the right tools to help them win. Keeping hope alive can be challenging, but you have to know it in your heart and feel it with every little part of your soul. It is the one thing that lives on.