I dread this time of the year, when our national secondary school exam results are released. According to TheStar, there are almost 8,000 straight A scorers for SPM this year. Now, I would like to congratulate all these top students but I hope they will stay away from public dramas in the newspapers. To avoid disappointments from scholarship rejections, I have a few tips to offer from someone who has always gotten scholarships that he has applied for.
Firstly, start early. If you have not yet applied for a scholarship – you are already late. You should know that many of the scholarship awarding bodies have already given out their offers to early birds. So, ensure that you make your scholarship applications now before it is too late. The early bird usually gets the worm for a reason.
Secondly, do your homework. There are many scholarship giving bodies in Malaysia. JPA should be your backup and not your only plan. In fact, there are many other more competitive scholarships than JPA by virtue of the amount of money that they give. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Just like job applications, you have got to throw your applications around.
Thirdly, don’t give up. This is not the end of the world – it is only the beginning of your entire life. You need to tread carefully and do not give up easily. You can still achieve your dreams if you stick to your guns. These days, there are so many options – matriculation, IB, A-levels – besides our venerable STPM. Yes, STPM is always an option assuming that you qualify for it.
So, if you do end up getting a scholarship – congratulations are in order. More so if you end up getting one of our prestigious overseas scholarships. If you fail to get one, don’t fret – look at your other options and move on. There is no need to cry about it in the newspapers.
Most importantly, now is a good time for self-reflection. You need to ask yourselves if you really want to study medicine in the UK. Look within and ask yourself what you would like to do at the end of the day and lay down the path to get there. Success is measured in many ways, including self satisfaction. Sometimes, it is more important to be simply – happy.