As was mentioned in a previous post, I was a finalist in my future college’s Presidential Scholarship Competition. So, in the month of February I took a week-and-a-half trip back East to participate in this event. So, as promised, here is how it went:
Sigh. Oh how I do love flying. There is something about flying through the clouds that gets me excited. On my way from San Diego to Savannah I enjoyed the hectic highs and lows of air travel.
The first few days before the competition were spent with my mother and step-dad who live in the Savannah, GA area. Shopping and relaxation were the goals here. The night before the competition we drove up to Greenwood, SC and attempted to stay calm until the big day.
Finally the day came! We awoke and prepared to embark on what could very well be considered the choosing between different paths for my future. On the way to Erskine College my nerves were going haywire. Nevertheless, upon arriving I managed to stay seemingly calm and collected.
The competition process consisted of three interviews total, two individual interviews and a group interview. A lot of us finalists had a while to wait before the time came for the interviews so we played games and got to know each other better. Even though it was a competition, no one was rude or overly serious; I can honestly say I did not meet a single rude person the whole trip. Man I love the GA/SC area. When the time for my first interview came I was understandably nervous. I did not really know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to find that my two interviewers were interested in who I was as a person and not just my back-story. I felt that this interview went really well. However, when it came to the group interview, well, I really didn’t feel as confident about it as I could have. What worried me was the political/government related questions. There were questions about my standing on gun laws, important policies that need addressing, and the items/books that I would want on a deserted island. I felt that my answers were unconventional compared to the other finalists in my group. On one of the questions where all of the four other finalists supported a policy, I said no and explained why the policy should not be implemented. This probably caught the interviewer’s attention, but is this a good thing? The last interview was the best. The interviewers were two very friendly women that I could laugh with as we went through some ridiculous questions they were forced to ask.
After the interviews us finalists were asked to fill out some surveys and given the opportunity to change before dinner. Speaking of dinner, it was a luau. We got to hear from previous winners and a few professors as well. Again we were whisked away to the next event, bowling. There was dancing, talking, and great fun.
Like all of the other finalists, I got the opportunity to spend the night in the dorms and see what student life is like. At no point did I feel unsafe or uncomfortable on this campus (it is one of the safest colleges in the US by the way).
The next morning we had breakfast in the dining hall and i got a personal tour with Mrs. B, my admissions counselor. The college is beautiful and the weather was perfect.
The Results: Drumroll please! … I did not get one of four big scholarships. Yeah, a bit of a disappointment. However, because I was a finalist I did get a renewable $1000 scholarship, which I am very thankful for. Also, this gave me a chance to see my future school in person. Yes, that’s right! I am going to Erskine College. Another plus was meeting my amazing admissions counselor in person. Mrs. B has taken care of me so well.
This was an amazing journey that has given me much needed reassurance regarding my future plans. I am thankful to God and my family I have gotten this far.