If there is anything I have learned, its that everything happens for reason.
I know it is such a cliche statement but its true. No matter how devastating something might seem at the moment, with time you start to realize that maybe it was meant to be and you would not be where you are today.
Even though I am young, there are so many moments I look back on life and realize if this “bad thing” [at the time ] did not happen, I would not be where I am today. And I am slightly happy that “bad thing” happened to me because it allowed me to grow and change.
One of the most recent and interesting instances was last year. Before my final year of university, I did not want to go back. I wanted to take a year off and gain some work experience. I was completely burnt out and struggling with my mental health which was affecting my performance at school. I was majorly depressed, my anxiety was at its all time high and I was homesick.
So I decided to enrol in my school’s internship program. If I found a job, I would take that break and gain some experience. If not, I would go back to school and graduate in June 2020.
Sounds like an amazing idea. Right? I had 4 months to land an internship and help from the people running the program. What could go wrong?
Turns out. A lot.
- They put me on the list of international students who needed a work permit. Don’t know how that happened because I am not one.
- The program changed, so there were new individuals running the program and I got no support.
- My uncle died at the beginning of June which meant I left Canada a few days later. My family needed me and I would give not give up an opportunity to see my dog.
- Somehow, I landed a few interviews without help, but being out of the country put me at a disadvantage. Although, employers were willing to conduct those interviews via video, I could tell it was not happening when everyone else did it in person.
- One employer said that since I wasn’t in Canada, I could not be considered anymore.
If there is anything I learned during that time, is that many things could go wrong during video interviews – video and sound does not work properly, data roaming is expensive if you are out of Canada, the house phone rings (yes these still exist), the dog is barking and my favourite, the internet goes down in the community for hours, just when I am about to start the interview.
All of this is to say that I did NOT get an internship and I had to go back to school. I was devastated. I actually ended up writing about it here.
But I went back and it ended up being one the best years and experiences that I had.
I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I did a research project, wrote a paper and presented that at my school’s fair. I even got invited to present at a conference in New Brunswick, which was unfortunately cancelled due to covid-19. I made friends, did well in my classes and enjoyed the content.
Yes, I did not get to finish out my last month and walk across the stage to get my diploma. But I am just grateful to have all these experiences, finish the year in-person and make all these connections. As much as I was devastated to not be able to take that break, I look back now and see that it was a good thing and I was able to finish my last year strong.
I think the most interesting part in all this is that even though video interviews and being out of Canada put me at a disadvantage last year, we can no longer conduct in-person interviews because we are in a pandemic.