It all began when I decided that I was keen on pursuing my love for the underwater world. As a child, I remember telling my mother that I wanted to be a jellyfish doctor when I grew up. I also told her that I wanted to be a glass blower (she told me to take it up as a hobby)! But in all honesty, never in a million years did I ever think that I would be studying my current degree, not because it wasn’t interesting or challenging but because I had very little confidence in myself.
My forte is and always has been the amazing subject of biology, and I didn’t want to move away from my comfort zone. On looking at several prospectus’ I considered sports science, forensic science, biomedical science and a few more. When I stumbled upon the marine biology programme, I couldn’t believe all the pretty pictures I saw and all the cool things that a marine biologist got up to. I was intrigued so I did some research on the course itself, bearing in mind Australia and New Zealand as potential locations for the degree. The Universities looked amazing and so did the course.
Ever since I returned back to India, after having studied in the UK for some years, I have always wanted to come back and what better opportunity than this? I applied to 6 different universities, out of which five of them were for the marine biology degree and one was for sports science (after all, you have always got to keep your options open) and eagerly kept an eye on my UCAS Track.
Time just whizzed past after that. I got into all 6 universities with scholarships! (I still can’t believe it). It was a tough decision to make, but I knew that I just had to come back to Plymouth. I had visited the aquarium as well as the city as a child and the experience has always stuck with me.
Before I knew it, I was moving in to student accommodation, meeting other fellow international students with new stories to share, attending my lectures and practicals, getting to know my course mates and my lecturers and being awed at the knowledge they all possessed and I knew then and there that I wanted to get the most out of this opportunity that I got handed.
I feel extremely fortunate to be where I am now, surrounded by people with a goal and a vision, which makes me feel like I am helping in making a difference. Not to mention, my entire journey, from my application process to actually understanding the meaning of an ‘overdraft’ (haha) has given me a huge boost of confidence and a sense on independence.
So, Hello there! My name is Ankitha Manohar and I am a current 2nd stage Bsc (Hons) Marine Biology student (It is as cool as it sounds). I am currently doing an undergraduate degree and I am hoping to share most, if not all, of my experiences on this page.