How to discover your potential to make a difference

Written by Zainab Asif Dar on .

Sometimes, you are a dreamer who has the capability to fulfil their dreams however societal obstacles make it really difficult for you. I am a student of political science in Pakistan. I completed my Bachelor’s degree last year and I immediately started my MPhil in Political Science. I wanted to have a job as well so that I could stop depending on my parents for my expenses. However, there were so many hindrances that I could not have a job.

My conveyance to college was through a college van which refused to pick and drop from distant schools or organizations where I wanted to work and my parents refused to allow me to travel by public transport due to security problems. I was stuck at my educational institution where I used to wait from 9 am till 2 pm for my class to start. I used to spend this time in the library. For some time, I was depressed because I was not contributing in the world after completing my education. However, I recognized that there are so many avenues through which one can gain experience and utilize their time in a productive way.


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I have been an active learner at Coursera and EDx. I had taken various MOOCs on history, public policy, international relations, writing and research. These MOOCs had helped me a lot through my Bachelors education. I honed my writing and speaking skills and gained confidence due to the knowledge I had gathered from various universities around the world through Coursera and EDX.

I discovered United Nation’s online volunteering platform through which they connect you with various International NGOs that are striving to attain sustainable development goals. I applied for various programs but my application were not accepted due to lack of relevant experience. I was disappointed for a while but then I decided to persist and refused to give up. I started writing for Voices of Youth and shared my life experiences as a dreamer in a developing state where gender equality is a distant dream. Luckily, my application was accepted by one of the INGOs and I utilized my writing skills to conduct research and edit research reports. I felt empowered and happy. I realized that some obstacles could not stop my resolve to make a difference in the world.

My MPhil coursework will be completed in two months and now I have the experience and skills to pursue my career in research and teaching. The bottom line is: There are many people in the world who feel that life has been unfair to them. But we all have the capability to overcome the obstacles that make us feel so. The best part is, one feels happiest when one achieves something after struggle and hardships. I wish nobody in the world has to face such hardships in life and get the opportunities they deserve. But if there are some difficulties in your life, never ever give up on your dreams and be persistent and have confidence in your abilities.

 Zainab Asif Dar photo

About the Author

Zainab Asif Dar is pursuing MPhil degree in Political Science at Kinnaird college for women in Pakistan. She has a keen interest in international law, global politics and human rights. Zainab has volunteered for many International NGOs and she is working with The Citizens Foundation, an NGO based in Pakistan.

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