"In Our Own Voices" is a photo and story gallery celebrating diversity and the voices that make the UNH Manchester community a wonderful place to live, learn and grow. Their stories are our story—and we are proud to tell it. Harshi Karedla '21, a neuropsychology major, shares their story below.
"Now that I am the person who is more accepting of challenges and willing to try new things, it has helped me realize that to move on, I need to let go of Prameela to let Harshi shine."
Growing up, I was called Prameela, my grandmother’s name. As Prameela, sharing the vulnerable side of me used to be difficult. I was embarrassed that I had thoughts of hurting myself and wasn’t happy. I thought there was something wrong with me because I was always provided with so much love and affection from my parents. They were even kind enough to allow me to pursue higher education in a major of my choice, although it was opposed. I thought I didn’t deserve anything because my flaws and insecurities were constant reminders of my failures. I started to have lower self-esteem during high school, which took a toll on my mental health. Being the eldest in my family was also hard because I had to constantly play different roles: the older sister, a role model, and a friend.
I was scared and nervous about what additional challenges I’d encounter when I first came to UNH Manchester. However, the faculty, staff, and students accepted me for who I am and even provided resources to help me face my fears instead of running from them. UNH Manchester essentially became a home away from home. I had always wanted to be called Harshi. Now that I am the person who is more accepting of challenges and willing to try new things, it has helped me realize that to move on, I need to let go of Prameela to let Harshi shine.