Student Life

My Scholarship Search

Paige Sheffield

October 24, 2013

My Scholarship Search
Someone always wins - why can't it be you?
You need money for college. Everyone always talks about applying for scholarships, making it sound so easy. But you hardly have enough time to apply to college, finish your homework or even eat dinner, for that matter. On a day when you finally have some free time, you begin searching for scholarships. You start getting excited, seeing all of the possibilities. Then you realize that three hours have passed and you haven’t applied for anything; you’ve simply searched for three hours and have nothing to show for it. Trust me, I get it. I first began truly searching for scholarships during my junior year, but at that time, I had enough papers to write for school. I didn't seem to have time to write the essays that many scholarship competitions require.
Not to mention, applying for scholarships doesn't guarantee anything. It simply means you have a chance: a small, microscopic chance of winning the award. I applied for some basic scholarships just to feel like I was accomplishing something. Weeks went by. The thoughts of scholarships slipped away from my mind as I became more and more focused on my school work. Then one day as I was solving equations, I noticed a new voice mail on my phone.
I expected to hear someone who dialed the wrong number, but instead I heard that I’d won a $2,000 scholarship. I hardly remembered applying for any, and I listened to the voice mail again. It was real. I won. This fact seemed impossible to me considering the amount of people who applied. But someone has to win.
By not applying, you have no chance. But applying - taking a little time or a lot of time or some variation of the two - gives you a chance. Personally, I’d rather have a slight chance than no chance at all. Also, many people don’t bother applying for “small” scholarships. Money is money, and it all adds up. Sure, $2,000 isn’t as much as $10,000, but it’s $2,000 less than I’ll have to pay out of my own pocket. Now, I try to enter as many scholarships as I can. I know I won’t win them all, or even come close to doing so. I haven’t won one since that day during my junior year. But I don’t believe the chance, however slight, is ever a waste. Most students don’t have the time to apply for every scholarship they stumble upon. The most beneficial way to go about it is to enter some simple scholarships, then select the longer scholarships that you are most passionate about. I personally don’t look at dollar amounts when I search for scholarships. The amount of money seems like a minuscule detail to me, because I’d rather complete an application that I feel really makes me stand out than fill out an application that makes me seem generic, hiding all that I truly am. There are so manyscholarships out there. However, many students would say that there also many students applying. That’s very true. But there’s only one you. Not every scholarship will be easily handed to you; it’s not as simple as here is $5,000 just for sitting there. Applying for scholarships takes time, passion and motivation. You may wonder why you’d waste all of that energy on something you’re more than likely to lose. But sometimes, after all of that writing, requesting letters of recommendation and running on faded and broken energy, you win.

How do you stay motivated to apply for scholarships?

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