“My family always insulted me when I failed my midterms. I wasn’t interested in studying and bunked classes. My parents even received complaints that I was drinking. I didn’t qualify in class 10, so I came to Thimphu.

At first my parents were hesitant to send me and my relatives didn’t want me staying with them. I rented a one-room bago by myself. Working hard, I got a scholarship for the rest of high school. During my class 12 trials, I was sick and my parents were having problems, so I couldn’t prepare well. I tried my best and got a seat in Gedu, but it was too expensive.

I got a job at a ticket counter instead. I didn’t like it, & people were always rude. I knew I could do better, so I worked hard and saved money. I had to help support my five younger siblings, my father’s salary wasn’t enough. I didn’t buy new clothes or go out with my friends. Cutting my costs helped pay for my siblings’ tuition and school fees.

I applied again to RUB and got a self-financed spot in Sherubtse. My parents still didn’t trust me so I tried to prove myself. If others were studying 1 or 2 hours, I was studying 3 or 4. During the winter I would work in restaurants to pay for school. I got 70% every semester, so my fees were halved and I finished college.

I took an entrance exam for South Asian University in Delhi, competing within Bhutan for the Master’s programme. Still my parents doubted me, so I put in a lot of effort. I felt it was best to pursue higher studies because I knew the struggle of having only a high school degree. I came first in Bhutan, and got the scholarship to study a Master’s in Economics.

During COVID I was a volunteer lecturer at Sherubtse. I would teach and then do online classes. After doing well on my Master’s, my family told me that as a girl I should start a family, but my apa really supported me. I wanted to learn more and applied for a PhD earlier this year. People from 7 countries competed for 3 PhD seats. No female and no Bhutanese has been selected for the economics PhD programme before in my school. The entrance exam was tough, but I placed second.

People may say you are not worthy, but work hard and don’t give up easily.”

#HumansofThimphu #humanstories #thimphu

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