The end of 2017 was the gloomiest and darkest year of my life. One evening after I was done with my classes, I hung out with classmates in the university cafe. My heart was worried and nothing seemed right to me. Then I checked my messages and I received the toughest news from a friend. I had lost my dad forever. It was a difficult moment that I cannot find words to express. At that moment I was the weakest soul ever. Since childhood I used to wish to be the first person to die in my family, because I was not able to imagine the death of my siblings. I felt my world would lose its light forever.

Now my father was gone. My heart could not recognize hope and happiness anymore. Sadness was my only companion. I did not know what happened to him.. I only got the news that changed my entire life and my motivation. I could not imagine this would happen one day. My goals and my future were longer exciting and meaningful for me.

Days passed. I had my two best friends from Syria and Afghanistan to sur-round. me. They tried to keep me happy and take care of me. I will always be thankful and love them forever. But, I was in denial whether about the news was true or not. Day after day, I was still a bird with broken wings that was unable to fly over the sky of success.

A few days later, I was sitting in my room and I wanted to convince myself to move on. I was determined to make his love my strength and power, to support me to continue on my path. I forgave him and everyone in my family. My dad was the toughest dad, but I always loved him. He was injured in the war but still strong enough to lead my large family. I learned from him fearlessness, bravery and tolerance as well as my mathematical talents. He never went to school, but he was so smart he could predict the economic market by use of mathematical computations. He used to say “The prices will increase in this cold winter. I have to fill the food supply in advance as the economy is not good. I was always curious how my dad could quickly do calculation without using a calculations. In fact, all these memories fostered my interest in doing my undergraduate degree in Economics. with a minor in Development Studies.

Every day, my dad was the biggest part of my thoughts. I tried my best to live in the present and follow my goals. Every day, I made myself excited about my daily plans. I strategized my plans in advance, both daily, weekly, monthly, per semester. I hoped to do an international summer internship during the 2018 summer break. I brainstormed tons of ways to start searching for internships around the world. I was confused and lost about how to apply. I approached friends and professors to confirm the possibility of my plan and kept watching online tutorials for internship searching tips. Within a couple of months I applied to 17 countries including Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Singapore, Norway, Germany, USA and more.

The process was exhausting and uncertain. I did not hear any reply from those organizations. Every day, I felt I should not invest my time anymore in searching for an internship. I was really weak both mentally and emotionally. But It was not easy for me to give up either. I was drowned in my imagination and the picture of my future.

I decided to resend my internship application and continue searching for other internships, to never give up. I also thought I should contact the writer of my story who published my story in NPR, “Only A Game” in 2017. I had his contact information from when I had my interview with him ( I emailed him to ask if he could provide me with any recommendation for internship opportunities in Boston. Days passed and the mid-term exams approached and I had no luck. I was stressed about wasting my time finding an internship. Yet, I held on to hope.

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