Want to know the habits that make a scholarship winner so successful? The following traits, or learned abilities, that I believe separate a scholarship winner from an award hopeful are listed below:
Focus because you will need to continue writing essays and completing applications regardless of the many distractions that come with being a student. These distractions whether enjoyable or not may include working, extra-curricular activities, your social life and daily responsibilities. When you are focused, you can prioritize and demonstrate a sense of balance. This relates to being resilient in trials, obstacles and being aware of your self-care. When you are focused this will help keep you disciplined and motivated when it comes to enduring challenging coursework.
Confidence because you will need to push yourself to fill out and submit applications of very competitive scholarships. If you’re not confident enough to begin the application, you will miss out on many opportunities without even trying. If you do not believe in yourself, you will have difficulty convincing someone else to believe in you. It is important to value yourself and your unique experiences. Put in your best effort and request feedback along the process whenever possible. Having someone else provide constructive criticism is insightful to make corrections. This is also helpful because generally we are our own worst critics so this may help you to give yourself more credit and push past self-doubt.
Optimism because you will need to see the end goal as a great possibility regardless of uncertainty or rejections while completing applications. Keep in mind that any rejection only allows you to fail forward. If we are not failing, we are not learning. When you are optimistic you will continue pursing your goal and will not falter at a redirection because optimist see opportunity in every aspect of life. Optimism encourages you to be your only competition in bettering yourself. Optimism will increase your level of productivity, develop patience, promote positive expectations, build resiliency and overall contribute to a happier and healthier lifestyle which will help you achieve your goals.
Preparation because you don’t want to turn anything in late and you want to submit high quality, competitive applications. Preparing your materials in advance is essential to effective time management. This ensures that you are aware of the expectations and requirements and can adequately plan. It is a good idea to network with individuals that have already achieved the award that you seek for valuable knowledge, feedback, and insight. You may have to request recommenders, reviewers of essays or statements, and submit official test scores or transcripts; all of which take time. When you prepare in advance, you are showing respect for the time of everyone that is investing in you.
Sense of Responsibility because you will need to realize that you must take full ownership of your education for other people to be willing to invest in your potential. This shows that you can identify how your past experiences have contributed to your present growth and future aspirations. It indicates that you understand the value of your education and that you are willing to seek opportunity with diligent effort in this process. Your sense of responsibility shows that you are accountable. Responsible individuals have developed relationships with professionals and are courageously able to demonstrate the strength of their candidacy.
Consistent Persistence because you want to build on the habits of writing essays and submitting applications so that you’re more competitive and the tasks become easier over time. Consistency demonstrates hard work which is even more important to achievement than your intellectual abilities. Consistent persistence will prove to be helpful in your desired program by developing perseverance. This will also contribute to humility as you remain consistent regardless the number of awards or lack thereof as you continue to pursue them.
Check out my scholarship training, Unlocking Scholarships: Own the Keys to Your STEM Degree, Debt-Free, to learn how to build the habits of a scholarship winner.