Y our decision to take up a scholarship shouldn’t be motivated by the prestige or monetary value of an all-paid-for education. Although these are factors that contribute to the high appeal of a scholarship, the most important thing to consider is your genuine passion for your future career – you’ll need it to sustain you when the time comes for you to serve your bond!
We understand that scholarship-related decisions are not easy to make, especially for curious and hesitant 18-year-olds. Here are some things all aspiring scholars should consider before embarking on a scholarship journey.
A Degree vs. An Education
Most (if not all) scholarship providers will require you to maintain an excellent academic record during your undergraduate studies. Failing to achieve the requisite Grade Point Average might result in the scholarship provider terminating your scholarship.
This can inadvertently cause you to make compromises in your education, where you are forced to sacrifice your interest in a more challenging subject for another that will net you a higher grade. You are likely to take up a module you have minimal interest in but which promises an easy ‘A’, as opposed to taking up an intriguing module with a professor who is notorious for awarding grades no higher than a ‘B’.
Going the distance
Scholars who have completed their four- to six-year bond service will usually find themselves in their late 20s or early 30s. At that point, getting married or starting their own families might have already crept into their near-future plans. This is the period where one would be most concerned about their finances – there might be housing and car loans to pay off and, on top of that, the prospect of supporting retiring parents and future children.
When saddled with so many obligations and responsibilities, you are bound to think twice about venturing into another industry upon completing your bond for fear of instability and risk. This leads to a fair number of scholars staying on long after their bonds because it is the ‘logical thing to do’.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
Identify your aspirations, strengths and shortcomings when making any scholarship decision. What do you want to achieve out of your career? Do you want your career to be about embracing a sense of adventure, building a more cohesive society, mentoring young ones or empowering the disadvantaged? If your dream is to leave a mark on the world in your own way, pursuing a public sector scholarship is one step towards doing that – you get to make a tangible difference in the society you live in.
At the end of the day, you will need to go through an intensive process of self-discovery before making a decision on which scholarship to go for, and whether or not you should apply for one in the first place. A scholarship is a fairly long commitment that will take you down roads that you might never have anticipated. As a scholar, take responsibility for your decisions and remember that you – and only you – are fully responsible for your decisions and your life.