Kritika Devi’s inability to physically attend classes or meetings at the University because of her health condition was a significant obstacle in her academic journey.
She has been diagnosed with a Multiple Sensitivity Disorder, which indicates that her body is sensitive to any chemical-based or non-natural substance.
However, this did not hinder the 30-year-old from graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a double major in Psychology and Sociology from The University of the South Pacific (USP). All 2021 graduation ceremonies in Laucala were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Qualifications were conferred by Deed, after which graduates were given their certificates.
Kritika explained that leaving home and being on campus exposed her to several triggers that left her sick for days.
“I missed out on making new friends, meeting my peers and just missing the overall social aspects of the learning journey,” Kritika added.
“I overcame this by opting for online units that required hard work, increased effort and adapting to e-learning.”
She said that she feels excited and proud to have completed her degree and plans to complete her Post Graduate Diploma or Masters in the near future.
“Some of the highlights for me as a student was learning and sharing similar interests with a diverse group of peers and educators. It was interesting to see various perspectives on mental health and to learn about their interests and passion that has drawn them towards studying psychology and sociology,” she said.
Kritika credited her accomplishments to the support she received from her family.
“My strength also came from my mom, who is no longer alive, but without her, I would not be where I am today. Her sacrifices and hard work in my upbringing is the reason behind all my achievements in life,” she added.
One piece of advice she gave to mature students is that there is no age limit to learning, and age should never become a barrier between you and your dreams.
“It all comes down to how passionate you are and the spirit in you. There may be challenges in life, but we need to evolve and adapt to the changes around us,” Kritika said.
“I am a mature student. I have also graduated with a Diploma in Banking but due to challenges in life I was unable to pursue further studies at that time. However, I chose not to limit myself.
“The results were not only fruitful but it also made me realise my potential and capabilities within me.”