Mira Nadarajah (2015)
Psychological and Behavioural Sciences
Undergraduate and JCR President
“Don’t be daunted by the notion of the ‘typical’ or ‘ideal’ Cambridge student”
How are you finding your time at Trinity Hall?
The past year and a half at Trinity Hall has been both intellectually and personally fulfilling. Even in the short period I have spent in the College thus far, I have had multiple opportunities to explore new endeavours. I have tried out football and subsequently played on the College’s women’s football team, and discovered feminism, becoming actively involved in Trinity Hall’s feminist society (FemFo).
The dynamism and openness of the College’s culture and administration has allowed me to thrive in several different realms, from my academic interests to student leadership and activism. However, what truly defines the Trinity Hall experience is existing among individuals from a variety of backgrounds, disciplines, and perspectives in the close knit community that is our cozy College. Not to mention finding yourself in an hour long discussion in the dining hall contemplating the nature of objective reality, or discussing how best to harness the College in a post-apocalyptic world.
Why did you choose to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences?
Even in my early teens, before being introduced to or aware of psychology as a field, I began showing interest in the social services and methods of dealing with human emotionality and behavioural intricacies, such as through counselling or the development of conducive social policies. Later I became engrossed with the factors and relationships influencing human behaviour.
My desire to study clinical psychology became resolute through the number of different volunteering projects and placements I undertook during my years of formal schooling, such as planning enrichment activities for children with intellectual disabilities and working with teen offenders in a juvenile correctional facility. I found the combination of empathy, emotional intelligence and psychological knowledge required to understand and assist disenfranchised individuals absolutely riveting.
Do you have any advice for other women looking to study at Trinity Hall?
When applying to the College, it is crucial to bear in mind that at an administrative and individual level, academics, staff and students alike are committed to creating a vibrant and diverse College environment. There have definitely been times where I’ve internalised a sense of helplessness as a woman of colour and an international student, compromising my chances of owning a situation as a result, and it can be quite self-defeating sometimes. But don’t be daunted by the notion of the ‘typical’ or ‘ideal’ Cambridge student. Stand firm in your uniqueness, it’ll prove to be your greatest asset.