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For the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Larrisa Singh, academic excellence requires a consistent mindset in alignment with hard work and determination, as well as an unwavering belief in oneself.  The 24-year-old Singh, who resides in Newlands West in Durban, will graduate Cum Laude for her Bachelor of Technology Degree in Industrial Engineering on Thursday, 6 September at DUT Fred Crookes Sports Centre in Durban.

Reflecting on her outstanding results, Singh admitted that a lot of personal attributes came into play. “It required mindfulness, focus and discipline. What may have seemed as a sacrifice early on became a healthy routine over time and eventually didn’t require much effort as the brain wires itself accordingly. I also ensured that attention was given to my mental and physical health to be able to perform as optimally as possible,” said Singh.

A merit student since Primary School, Singh said passing with Cum laude was a goal she was determined to achieve despite deregistering from the University at one point due to health complications. “It was difficult to digest given the time that was being lost but I had to accept that the decision was made taking my best interests into consideration,” added Singh.

Singh comes from a family of five and she is the youngest of three children. She attributed her achievement to having immense support from her parents, lecturers and also having friends who share a similar vision. “My parents, my lecturers and my really good friends Saalick and Stuart – who also happened to be in my class and are also graduating Cum Laude. Everyone was amazing,” added Singh.

Since she was five years old, Singh had one dream in mind, which was to pursue a STEM-related career. She has never looked back, obtaining numerous academic related achievements. “During my matric year, I began researching my options and the relevance and diverse application of Industrial Engineering is what appealed to me the most when making my final decision,” said Singh excitedly.

In sharing words of wisdom to students who often come across challenges in their studies, Singh said: “When you find yourself straying off and you begin to resent the idea of studying, change your outlook on it and appreciate the opportunity you have- not so many are as fortunate.”

Singh plans to further her academic pursuits by venturing into research. She admits that the learning curve will never end.

Pictured: Larrisa Singh will graduate cum laude for her BTech Degree in Industrial Engineering.

Sandile Lukhozi

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