The Pandemic Saved My Life
I was startled in the mid of class when I received the email from the college president saying that school would be closed until further notice due to the severity of Covid-19. I was a senior student last year studying biochemistry, I had so many fun things going on. However, everything just ended suddenly.
I was so sad and wondered why. I questioned myself about the future, so many things were spinning in my mind. Then I started to get depressed. I should have had a happy and memorable graduation ceremony with my friends and professors, but instead, the college degree was sent via mail with a congratulation letter.
Due to quarantine, I had to stay in the dorm most of the time, my energy kept going down. I applied for jobs but felt so anxious when knowing that millions of people have been unemployed and many companies began mass laid-off.
I got some interviews but most of them required years of experience and skills. I felt so hopeless, I wished I could go back in time and learn more skills and make more connections.
The amount of money in my bank account was getting less and less. I could only afford canned food and some cheap stuff from Walmart and Dollar General. I knew everybody was having a hard time, so I motivated myself to move on. I prayed to God everyday as I knew God would listen to me.
In the hopeless moment, the only thing we can do is pray
1. Become a writer on Medium
One day, I read an article on Facebook and was hooked by the content along with the professional writing styles of the authors. I found the source of the article, it was on Medium.com. I went to the website and read some more stories. Then, I was impressed by the variety of topics and personal experience of the authors that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
As an introvert and also having some personal experience to share, I was interested in being a writer when I was introduced to Medium Partner Program. I started to research and read the guides from Casey Botticello and Zulie Rane, I knew there was no perfect time to get started so I just wrote my first article back in May, 2020. It was a kick off to begin the writing journey. The second month, I earned $70, then $150 and then $180$. I realized that my efforts were paid off and I could do whatever I wanted to become.
Besides writing on Medium, I also learned some courses about Digital Marketing on LinkedIn Learning to expand my skills, thanks to that I knew how to utilize SEO to make my articles more well-known and visible for readers on the internet.
2. A phone call from a company on the other side of the country
At the same time of writing on Medium, I also kept applying for jobs. The process was so tedious and time-consuming. It took almost 15 minutes to complete the application for each company. Yet, there was no guarantee for interview, let alone getting hired. It’s been almost three months after graduation, I became so stressed-out. My savings were almost gone. Then, one night I received an email from one of the companies on Indeed. I had an interview with the COO saying that the had an open position that need urgent hiring.
The interview went well, but I didn’t think I would get it. At that time, I was still living in Upstate New York, but the company was located in Orange County, CA. I thought up some reasons they wouldn’t pick me such as long distance, lack of experience,…Well, I accepted whatever would happen next.
Two days later, when I was about to sleep, I couldn’t believed my eyes that I got an offer. It was Friday night, and they wanted me to begin as soon as possible.
3. Pack my stuff and leave everything behind
I have lived in upstate New York for four years. The summer there was so wonderful. In two days, I had to find a room and book the air ticket. After searching for hours, I finally found a room pretty close to work about 15 minutes of driving. The location was very good, it was close to the markets, restaurants. I managed to have some saving money to book the flight.
I was so nervous during the trip to the other side of the country. I would live in a place that I’d never been to. I’ve heard about the expensive cost of living in South California, I wondered how could I live there with a salary just enough to pay rent and food. However, I had no choice, I had to step out of the comfort zone.
When I arrived at John Wayne Airport at about 9pm, I called the landlord but she didn’t answer. My heartbeat dropped for a few seconds, then I tried again after 10 minutes, this time, she picked it up. I took an Uber to the house with two big suitcases.
The room was pretty big but looked old. It was furnished with a single bed, a closet and a table. Thank god, I had just enough money to pay for deposit and first month rent.
I felt empty in a new and strange place without knowing what’s going on next.
4. The very first days at works were so long
On Monday, I got to work with a mixed feeling of excitement and doubt. This was my first job outside campus. Since the pandemic, the demand for Covid testing increased significantly, requiring me to work over time a lot. The first two weeks, I worked 10–12 hours each day to get caught up with the amount of samples.
I had no idea how I could do that during that time. I learned and adapted to the new environment quickly. I felt more confident with the position I had and was so grateful for that.
5. Got promoted after three weeks
After three weeks, I got promoted to be shift lead. My manager saw my talent and dedication to work. My effort paid off. I was surprised when things moved so fast. Last month, I was still in New York hopelessly looking for job but now I became the shift lead with about fifteen people in my team. I made friends with my co-workers, they were nice and friendly.
We hung out and had so many fun. My life turned 180° angle during the pandemic.
With the production of vaccine, millions of people have been safe from the deadly virus. Companies, restaurants and schools started to open slowly. Many things have changed since the time I set foot in California, but I always remember all of the memories during that time. Life is unpredictable and good things are waiting ahead as long as I keep moving on and don’t surrender to any obstacles. Hardship and challenges will make me stronger and more confident.
I never thought that I would live in Irvine, a newly developed city in Orange County. I was blessed to live here. There are so many parks and lakes around the city, which make me feel so relaxed.
There will be more and more challenges ahead, I will have to learn to fight for my sake and keep improving myself.
P.S : Thank you for spending your time to read my story, you are very welcomed to share your happy moments happened to you during the pandemic.