Often all it takes to overcome the difficult aspects of life is sheer willpower and perseverance. This was particularly true for 23 – year old Dip Deepak Maharaj from Tavua after he successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Language, Literature and Communication from University of Fiji in 2019.
Dip also graduated with a Diploma in Teaching in 2020 and is currently pursuing a Post-Graduate Diploma in English Literature.
According to Dip this was all made possible with determination, desire to succeed and a timely assistance from the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Service (TSLS) that allowed him to pursue his dreams.
“Hailing from Viti Vanua settlement, a one and half hour drive to Tavua town, travelling was an issue. Thus, I moved to Nadi to stay at my brother’s place to minimize my travelling and renting expenses,” he said.
“Staying away with my family was one of the major sacrifices I had to make. However, this did not stop me from excelling. My parents’ blessings and continuous support aspired me to do better in every challenge of my university life. Another sacrifice that I had to make was managing between my part-time job at a local supermarket and my studies. It was truly a challenge, but these challenges made me stronger than ever. I have been a product of both face to face and online learning but this transition due to COVID19, did not stop me from giving the best into my studies.”
Dip was the recipient of the Discipline Gold Medal Award for English Language and Literature and Communication (LLC) in 2020. He further received Gold Medal Award for Hindi Language and Indian Culture (HIC), Gold Medal Award for the School of Humanities and Arts and recipient of Vice Chancellor’s Gold Medal Award. He was also recipient of the Discipline Gold Medal Award for Graduate Diploma in Teaching in 2021.
“The COVID19 pandemic ruined my graduation dreams twice; firstly, in March 2020 where I was supposed to graduate with Bachelor of Arts in LLC & HIC and secondly in June 2021 where I was to graduate with my Graduate Diploma in Teaching credentials,” he said.
“Thus, I was shocked when I received an email stating that I have had won 5 gold medals including the prestigious Vice Chancellor’s award for 2020. I feel greatly privileged. I am grateful to the TSLS as it assisted me in paying my tuition fees, meal allowances, incidental or stationary allowance and bus fare.”
Dip is employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Language, Literature and Communication Department at the University of Fiji.
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