‘My degree has been a whole spiritual journey,’ Philosophy and Dance student Trisha Devi Naidu d/o Thayalamurugan tells us as we look back at her time at Hope.
Settling into the UK
Originally from Singapore, coming to the UK to study opened up new opportunities for Trisha. ‘I wanted to study a combined degree, which is something you can’t do in Singapore,’ she explains. ‘So, it was between Australia and the UK because I knew I wanted an English-speaking country.’
And Liverpool caught her attention for a specific reason. ‘I chose Liverpool because of football. And I chose Liverpool Hope University because of the course combinations available.’
But moving away from home for the first time does come with its challenges. ‘I think that when I came here, I underestimated the massive culture shock and the first day was overwhelming.’
‘But Hope is friendly, the scouse people are really nice and the city is really small compared to Singapore. I’ve felt safe,’ she goes on to explain. ‘And now, navigating the city feels like second nature to me. I love sitting outside on the central library steps, and being around the docks and the St George’s area in general.’
A combination to grow from
Having been a dancer her entire life, Dance was an obvious choice of degree for Trisha. ‘When I was nine, one of my family friends came over from Sri Lanka to do a Diploma in Dance. So, from that age, I was like, 'I want to do that.’
‘So as a teenager, as well as training in ballet and contemporary dance, I really got into Sri Lankan dance. We performed in Singapore almost every weekend. We’ve also travelled around Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore to perform and do charity work as well.’
‘I’ve stayed with dancers in Sri Lanka to learn from them and everyone was telling me that I should open up a school for Sri Lankan dance, so that’s what I’m wanting to do.’
Despite having a clear career goal in mind, Trisha wanted to open up her studies to incorporate another area of interest in her life: Philosophy. ‘It’s always something I’ve been interested in because I study Buddhism,’ she tells us. ‘And that is a mix of spirituality and learning ethics.’
And studying Philosophy has allowed her to grow as a person. ‘It’s been super interesting. We focus on politics, religion and personhood, and the self, which I really love,’ she explains.
Growing through learning
Despite the nervousness of moving to a different country to study, the move has been the right one for Trisha, and it’s been an experience she has grown from. ‘Everything we learn can be reflected in our own lives, and it’s really made me think about what kind of person I want to be.’
‘My lecturers always blow my mind. They’re really kind and genuinely care about their students, continuously going out of their way to make our university experience so much better, especially through Covid.’
‘They’re the ones who keep me wanting to come and learn.’