This study forms part of a broader wellbeing project that analyses the factors supporting student wellbeing at the University of Pretoria. The purpose of this study was to explore the ways in which hope manifests for South African youth during times of adversity. The study purports to explore wellbeing in the African context by intentionally uncovering the concept of hope and how it enables students at the University of Pretoria to combat stressors, and to overcome adverse experiences. The study combined a qualitative phenomenological research design and exploratory case studies. The participants (n=3) were purposefully selected student leaders who fulfilled the Wellbeing Portfolio in their respective student residences. The data were generated and gathered via vignette-driven interviews, observations, and research journaling that captured the co-experiences of the research participants and the researcher. Data analysis was conducted in two phases. First, a set of individualised vignettes was crafted and member checked by the research participants. Subsequently, a qualitative content analysis was conducted on the full data set. The findings indicate multiple manifestations of hope, e.g. faith, spirituality, prayer, a positive outlook on life, determination, positive future expectations, internal locus of control, as well as the emotional nature of hope. The findings further indicate external manifestations of hope, e.g. background and upbringing, generational stories of hope, peer and family relationships, and community.