Going into my last year of college, I hadn’t thought I’d be eligible for any scholarships. This is because I didn’t think scholarships were offered to students who didn’t have at least a year of schooling left. Occasionally I’ll still find myself in disbelief when I run across a scholarship that simply offers money to those that are currently in college without any set expectations for how long the applicant should remain in school after they receive the award (if they receive it).
You see, up until earlier this year, I thought that time to apply for scholarships had run out for me. I had only ever heard about scholarships during my last couple years in high school and my first couple years in college so I thought that was the only range that scholarships were meant for unless you were also a college athlete. Boy was I wrong! I don’t know if any of you have experienced this but if you have, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes I find that I get myself stuck in this mindset of not being able to ask for help or that there just isn’t any help out there because, even though I could definitely use the help to pay for school, I’m trying to be a strong, independent college student and that means that I try to do everything on my own until I realize that sometimes that’s not possible.
Working 2 part-time jobs and going to school full-time doesn’t really leave a lot of time for me to go out and join a sport or a club or even volunteer on a regular basis like I did back in high school. I know that there are a lot of scholarships out there that consider extracurricular activities to be a key factor when it comes to deciding if a particular candidate is the best fit for a scholarship or not. But that’s not the only thing that they take into consideration. I know this information, yet it’s something that was difficult for me to remember or believe until this year. If I’d realized that there’s a good chunk of scholarships that are only interested in who their candidates are and the unique experiences they’ve had or the challenges they’ve had to face and overcome then I would have made scholarships a top priority instead of just another piece of information that I keep filed away in the back of my mind.
Thankfully, I still have time to do something about that. My goal for the upcoming months is to take the advice that I’ve been giving you guys since about March. I plan on creating a list of scholarships that I qualify for (to varying degrees), prioritizing those scholarships, keeping deadlines in mind and applying at least a week or two before they’re due (I’m still working on getting better about procrastinating), and ask for help when I need it. I’d also like to encourage any other seniors (especially those that might not have realized they could still apply for scholarships) to make these their goals too!