I had registered to sit June 2020 exams facilitated by the British Council—my final two MBA papers. Then, in March, everything changed. Our classes had now shifted to online and my classmates and I were waiting on a new date. We were in the same boat as the SEA students. Eventually, we got notification from the University that exams would now be shifted to a later date with new instructions and exam procedures.

During this extra period, I took it upon myself to utilise the time to focus on my reading and working on practice questions as our beloved country moved into phase one of the stay at home measures.

The first two months were very tough, adjusting to this new normal. However, I occupied myself with studying and keeping on top of reading. As I kept in contact with my close classmates, they were doing the same; they were working according to their company’s schedule. As for me, being an entrepreneur, I had to close my business which was located in a mall.

At some points my frustration grew. I kept praying and keeping faith (we cannot move forward if we do not have faith and believe in prayer). It was indeed mentally challenging. In due course, new exam dates were emailed to us and we were now sharing August exams with the SEA students.

I was relieved to work towards a given date. By now, we were allowed to open back business and work with precaution and protocols. However, soon after, the cases started to rise and I made the decision to be very careful as my exams were of paramount importance. I closed my business again as exams were soon approaching and I did not want to risk being at work.

As I prepared for my final two courses, the cases kept rising and we moved into the second phase of the various measures advised by our authorities. At this stage, studying for an MBA finals through a pandemic can be described as emotionally draining, as the environment was somewhat scary and frustrating simultaneously.

My classmates shared the same sentiments as I did, as they too were depressed at times. Yet, we were studying as much as possible while being very aware of what was taking place in our country and the rest of the world.

Our various exams took place during the week of SEA and I could have only imagined how those eleven and twelve-year-olds felt after sitting their very important exam. After sitting my exams, my feelings were a mixture of happiness, pride and sadness.

I will always remember these few months as the experience was a very challenging but rewarding one. It tested us and our capabilities to study and work through these very trying times. Nevertheless, with prayer and faith, we did it – both SEA and MBA students—August 2020.

Going forward, as we all work together to fight this pandemic, we must take responsibility for our actions and be mindful that we do have the power to overcome every obstacle that crosses our paths in life.

We simply have to follow the guidelines, be strong, and be responsible citizens and humans.