What I would do if I were 18, had a string of A(+)s but someone still thinks I am not good enough for a scholarship or gives me a lousy programme that I am not interested in

First, stop getting mad / stop crying (It doesn’t help and you just hurt yourself doing it).

a) If my family had limited financial means

1. Do Form 6 and try again.

2.  If money is really an issue, take the lousy programme and make the best out of a bad situation.

3. Ask a reputable private college whether they are willing to offer a scholarship to you to do A-levels. Usually, colleges like to sponsor a few of these full A students for “advertisement purpose”, so it is fair trade.

b) If my family had some savings

4. Do Form 6 and try again.

5. Talk to my parents about the possibility of taking a study loan to finance my studies. American students routinely go into debt doing so, and this makes them appreciate their education more. Here we have people who come in, treat university education like a holiday, and still expect to get a good starting pay at the end – because they don’t feel the financial sting (many don’t even bother to pay back the loan that they took from the State, such responsible young people).

c) If my family had five big cars and two bungalows

6. Tell daddy / mommy to pay up first; you’ll pay them 5x back later. No cash? Sell that Merz or mortgage that bungalow. Ask mom to stop visiting London for year end shopping.

P/S: personally, I think people in the (c) situation should not even have applied for any scholarships.

The source of disappointment is the expectation that a string of A translates to some kind of monetary reward in the form of a scholarship. As with any application, any request can be rejected, regardless of whether any reasonable explanation accompanies the rejection. Citing irregularities in the award process doesn’t help. The world is not perfect. You aren’t either, even with full A+.

So, it is best not start with an expectation. Above all, develop the idea of self-help. Expect that you’ll only have your wits to rely on, and anything else that people give you is just a bonus. If you hold on to this principle, you’ll become stronger than anyone of those people who didn’t have to go through this at the end – this is thing that really matters. No one can say that you owe them any favours because you took money from them. You are finally free and nothing is more valueable than that.

Good luck unhappy young ones! (we all need a bit of in a tough situation)

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About Tsung Fei

A teacher, researcher in the bioinformatics division at the University of Malaya
This entry was posted in Education. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What I would do if I were 18, had a string of A(+)s but someone still thinks I am not good enough for a scholarship or gives me a lousy programme that I am not interested in

  1. Gary says:

    Agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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