#AshokaIsForAll: A Journey Through Ashoka University’s Unique Academic Landscape
I have been immensely lucky in receiving the aid that I did, and I certainly would never have been able to finance my time here without it, writes Abigail D'Souza
I am from Pune and am the eldest of three children. My father is a freelance copywriter, and my mother is the head of business operations for a chain of daycares. It was she who first heard of and proposed Ashoka University, supplemented by a close school friend who shared my interests, visited it and was applying.
I enrolled in 2020 with plans to study Psychology, and in 2023, I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my BSc in the same. I had a brief but intense criminology phase in my early high school years, and when it petered out, it left an enduring interest in the human psyche behind. I took the class in my junior and senior years in high school, just to try it, and it stuck, utterly and entirely. During my time here, I have also pursued English and will, this year, complete a second major equivalent. My interest in English developed, as it does for most of us who study the subject—a long and enduring love of books, born in childhood and not so much nurtured as almost unhealthily depended on for the rest of my life. I was warned that studying English would detract from the pleasure literature gave me, but I have found the opposite to be true—every book I read adds four more to my reading list, and I cannot imagine it any other way.
It goes without saying that, without the aid I have so kindly received, I would never have been able to come to Ashoka University, to learn and grow as I have. The Psychology programme here is thorough and well-thought-out, and there are courses offered here that I would never have received elsewhere. The professors are experts in their fields and aim not just to teach the necessary material but to contribute to their students’ mental development, broaden their horizons, encourage them to ask questions and keep in mind the context and effect of their field and studies.
The environment at Ashoka encourages growth, with clubs and societies for most interests and the opportunity to set up more, reading circles, haats, and student-organised events, as well as an active political consciousness.
Ashoka has not just nurtured my love for my chosen fields but for learning overall. I hope to stay in academia, to make my own contributions to the sum of what we know about ourselves. Whatever comes next, I know that the things I have learned here—in and outside of the classroom—will be invaluable. I have been immensely lucky in receiving the aid that I did, and I certainly would never have been able to finance my time here without it. To students holding back for financial reasons, I do understand. But try the aid process, truly. If Ashoka is the place for you, then being here will be invaluable to you. And, in my experience, the Office will do their best to give you the help and aid you need. To those who supported me, thank you so much.
(Written by Abigail D’Souza, a part of the Ashoka Scholars Programme, class of 2024 at Ashoka University)