Guess who just received a scholarship from the University of Westminster equalling $20,000 to cover her tuition costs? Well, obviously me, or else I would not be writing about it on this blog. I got the email this morning, informing me that I won the Writing the City scholarship for my program to offset my £11,5000 cost of tuition. This is a big deal. Not just because now my loan amount will go down immensely, but because this scholarship is directly for a person taking part in the Creative Writing: Writing the City MA program. That means out of all the people from my program who may have applied for this scholarship, I got it! I had the best essay, application, and letter of recommendation. I have no idea how many people there are in my program or how many of them potentially applied to this specific scholarship, but the best part is that I ended up getting it. I’m getting money to help fund my education that I’ve worked so hard to get. Instead of $50,000+ that I was scared about paying back, I have $20,000 less that will come out of my pocket. I can go through life knowing that the university believed in me enough to assist me with paying for school. I am basically getting to attend grad school for free. Paying for the accommodation, food, travel and etc. is really all I have to worry about now.
At the beginning of this process, I was so scared that it wouldn’t happen. I kept freaking out about money and applications and the possibility that everything could go wrong and I wouldn’t go for a second year in a row. I didn’t want people to see me fail again. I want this so bad, and I knew I had to make it happen, even if the process scared me. I have my heart set on going to London and studying and exploring, and would do anything to make it happen. And now it is happening. Good things keep happening, and it’s crazy! I started this process two years ago, and it’s finally coming together! And now I have less than three months before all my hard work becomes a reality. In three months, I step on a plane and head abroad to actually attend grad school. It seems impossible, but it’s real. And it seriously proves that when you want something bad enough, you’ll work every fiber of your being to make it become your reality.
I didn’t post this before, because I wanted to wait the outcome of the scholarship, but the following is the essay I wrote to accompany my scholarship application. I’m proud to say that this simple 500-word personal story was good enough to get me a tuition free education in London at the University of Westminster:
I’ve never been a traditional human being. From my beginnings of being adopted by my grandparents, to being the only person of color in my hometown for years, these things made me unique on their own. But as an adult, I’ve started to fit in more than ever. I stopped being so shy, I lost a lot of weight, I dress according to fashion trends and finally don’t feel like the awkward person I grew up believing I was. But through all of this, I’ve still had my dreams and goals. I dream very large and have a very idealistic way of how my life should go. I am a firm believer in not being ordinary and I also have no concept of what is realistic and what’s not. I dream way too much. In fact, I spend the majority of my time daydreaming about my future. I have a million different goals in my life and a plight to make them all come true. This has proven to be impossible. I cannot be the next Tina Fey and write comedy and also be Indiana Jones and go on archeological digs. I’m not able to be a celebrity fashion portrait photographer like Richard Avedon, and also compose Hans Zimmer-worthy film scores. There is simply no way I can fit everything I am interested in into one career. But as I sit here, listening to music from the film “Amelie,” I ignore reality and think about ways I can make all of these things still happen. I want to do everything and become an incredibly accomplished person. If there were ways for me to stay grounded and think about normal things, I would actually prefer it. Dreaming takes up a lot of time and it’s exhausting, but it’s what makes me special. If I have no goals in life, than there is nothing for me to work towards. I believe it’s better to have a thousand plans for life than none at all. This is why I believe this course will help me become successful. I have felt most at ease with myself when I can write down the thoughts that fill up my head. Learning how to perfect my craft of creative writing will open so many doors for me and my future. Since it’s going to be hard to pursue everything I wish to do, I find that a career in entertainment and arts public relations will be the best place for me to use the majority of my interests. Writing well is what ties everything together, and pushing my writing to be better with an advanced degree will give me an edge as I start my employment search in the future. As a recent university graduate, finally taking off from under her parents wing, I will need funds to be able to complete my education. As a newcomer to the world of being a working adult, my current financial need is large, and assistance towards schooling will help me to attain the creative writing degree that I’ve always wanted to achieve.