Honor student set to graduate in record time

Photo by Dakota Santiago
Thanuja Ganeshalingam earned 150 credits in three years at NJCU. Photo by Dakota Santiago

By Ivette Epps

18- year-old NJCU student Thanuja Ganeshalingam will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree this May, with a double major in finance and international business.

In Ganeshalingam’s home country, Sri Lanka, she followed the British syllabus. Unlike her friends and acquaintances, however, she skipped the fourth grade after scoring 100 percent on all her final exams in the third grade; she then was put directly into the fifth grade, and completed the next level of school testing in 10 months, whereas most students (from Sri Lanka) need two years to do so.

Ganeshalingam’s childhood did not only consist of studying or reading the dictionary. She also participated as a member of the school swimming team, school choir and school senior band.

It is difficult to believe that any student can graduate from New Jersey City University at the age of 18 when NJCU requires a minimum of 128 credits. Despite this, it only took Ganeshalingam a total of three years to earn 150 credits. Most students at NJCU stay in school more than four years because they take 12 credits per semester.

Ganeshalingam is humble about her achievements, but believes some students could spend their time more wisely.

“I always took 18 credits per semester. Sometimes, I also took 21 credits. In addition, I also took summer classes the last two years. I personally believe that three months of summer vacation is too much to relax. It would be an exception if one was doing a summer internship or a summer job, but to take the whole summer off to go to the beach and party is absurd when there are so many other productive things to do,” Ganeshalingam said.

With Ganeshalingam’s ambition and hard work, she is able to accomplish more than a bachelor’s degree. She currently has a 3.88 GPA, which is honored by Magna Cum Laude for earning a GPA ranging between 3.8-3.89.

Ganeshalingam’s life is very full; in addition to school, she has two part-time jobs, is a bilingual Bollywood and Bharatha Nytiyam dancer, and volunteers on and off campus. Ganeshalingam’s busy life is giving her many opportunities by allowing her to meet new people and learn many skills as she fulfills her lifelong dreams.