What COVID-19 is doing to my dream
Essay from Jeremiah Lucas Opira Memorial Contest 2021
Author: Nakiyingi Christine
Winner, Category 2
COVID-19, scientifically known as Corona virus disease 2019, is defined as an illness caused by a novel corona virus, now called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2. It started in a large animal and seafood market in China in Wuhan City and on 30th January 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global health emergency.
The pandemic was characterized of the following symptoms that is fever or chills, cough, difficulties in breathing. Because of various cases of the disease, the government of Uganda, advised by the Ministry of Health, decided to close most public places, such as schools, banks, markets and many more so as to minimize on the spread of the disease. The public was also emphasized to wear masks, wash their hands regularly, social distance for about 2 meters from another person but all these were in vain. The spread of the disease was increasing rapidly which later resulted in lockdown of activities and putting people in quarantine.
Due to the following reasons, COVID-19 has and is negatively affecting my dream of accomplishing my diploma course in civil engineering of 2 years that came as a result of closing education institutions and these include:
Missing job opportunities: The pandemic has greatly made me loose employment opportunities due to a delay of accomplishment in the course which is now taking four years. I started that course in August 2019 and up to date I am still struggling with it of which I would have completed in 2021 after acquiring my transcripts and apply for job opportunities.
Lagging behind as far as development is concerned: This is realized in my comrade who pursue social studies for over 5 years but are almost completing because they have been having online lectures; not forgetting medical students who have always had the chance to report first before us engineering students do. This pandemic has really granted them such a golden opportunity to get jobs and more opportunities to earn a living and improve their standards of living, hence leaving us behind but taking that step forward.
Important to note is that my time for upgrading has been postponed as a matter of extended time for completion of the diploma course. This has also put my dream of obtaining or attaining a degree in civil engineering on hold, yet “time waits for no man”. Therefore, instead of finishing studies within the shortest time possible, every time it’s extended and our goals are really put at stake accompanied with loosing different opportunities.
More so, COVID-19 has created disagreements between my parents, but especially my mother and I. This is a result of not completing the course withing the two years as set by the Ministry of Education, Games and Sports together with the National Council for Higher Education. The disagreements arose because she was fed up with my studies that are not getting finished as she expected, this made me feel hopeless, small and discouraged because I was almost giving up to remove that burden and save myself from being mentally tortured.
However, I have also benefited a lot from the break of COVID-19 despite all the challenged I faced. Below are the positive effects of the pandemic to my dream of becoming a civil engineer.
It has given a platform to train even before the period of internship. During the first lockdown, I worked with different engineers in building and masonry work who helped me a lot to improve my skills and acquire more knowledge in interpreting plans of buildings, both residential and storage which I believe will help me in my daily life and also improve my standard of living.
In addition to the above, working with good people who have always guided me, encouraged and supported me has really increased my self-esteem which has enabled me to regain all the hope I had lost and believe that I am also an important person in this country and who can change other people’s lives positively. This can be viewed by mentoring and motivating other people not to give up on their dreams but rather rekindling them every each and other day in whatever situation they are going through because there is always sunshine after rain.
Besides, I managed to earn some money while working during the lockdown which I could not get when I am studying. This money helped obtain some of my needs and also take care of my family when necessary.
Since I was working within my home village, people encouraged me to work harder and also cheered on me which made me feel loved and great, thus influenced me to study harder as to not let them down as I give happiness for those who never wished me good.
The pandemic has also given me a chance to associate with different groups of people who have connected me to big organizations and companies. This therefore grants me a platform to obtain more opportunities regarding jobs and other aspects of life that will greatly improve my dream and life.
Conclusively, COVID-19 has enabled me to develop my dream despite all the problems and outcomes I experienced because I had reached a point of surrender and try other things but since it created ample time for me to connect with other people and work, I managed to restore my hope and pick myself up to make my dream shine brighter than before.
Through the efforts of Jeremiah Lucas Opira Foundation, allow me to thank the founders and the people running it for giving the platform to share with you and all the people outside there. To those who are feeling like giving up because of the situations you are going through, I am encouraging you to believe in yourselves as that is the strongest weapon to your success. Do not give change to those who never wished you good as you were starting to laugh at you when you have failed to fulfil your dream.