By Hannah Beers

Before I knew it, the wonderful day of being accepted into Evangel University, my eternal dream college, had come and gone. Next came the part no one talks about. I was up to my neck in one thing: scholarship applications.

It can’t be that bad, right? Scholarship applications are just like questionnaires about yourself and how incredibly unique and talented you are, right?

Wrong. They’re thought-provoking, complicated and – believe it or not – they can be incredibly rewarding. So, in honor of the season of scholarships, I offer your three pieces of advice you can use to approach your scholarship applications.

1. Show them the brightest version of you.

Sure, you were on the volleyball team all four years, but so are a lot of people. What did you learn from being on that team? How did you grow? We all know playing the tuba in marching band is an excellent talent, but make it something more than that. Make it something that the scholarship committee can’t live without. Take those experiences and turn them into stories of growth, responsibility, purpose… you get the drift. Show the scholarship committee who those experiences have help you become.

2. Pace yourself.

It’s easy to look at the stack of 348**  scholarship applications before you and wonder how you’ll ever have a social life again, but do not fear. You just need a strategy. For example: Every Saturday, complete two applications before you go on with the rest of your weekend. It’ll simplify your life and spare you regret on Senior Awards night. Bonus: you get to feel accomplished every weekend!

Tackling the applications in small bites keeps you from feeling burned out, and helps you apply what you learn along the way to later applications.

** Prediction based on, uh, science.

3. Just do it.

I could write novels about why you should complete scholarship applications. It’s your senior year and you’re living the life, right?  It’s not always the most fun you’ll have on a Saturday afternoon. but it’s worth it in the end. In another year you’ll still be living the life, and chances are, that one will be way better. So, instead of whining about writing a “unique experience” essay 37 times, just write it.

All humor aside, I do honestly encourage each one of you to spend time pursuing scholarships. From Evangel to your hometown, to nation-wide competitions, there are thousands of opportunities to assist you in pursuing an education that will pay off for the rest of your life.

If not for scholarships, I wouldn’t be at Evangel University. Don’t make the mistake of missing out on your future because you’re too lazy to list your extracurriculars.