It was a little heartbreaking today at my last meeting for the Charles Irwin Travelli Fund and Alice S. Ayling Foundation Scholarship. First coming into Bates, when I first discovered that I had received this grant, I remember a profound sense of overwhelming and feeling extremely undeserving of this “prize”. After all, who was I? I was merely a student. I remember obsessively thinking of someone else less privileged who could have gotten the chance for this selective opportunity.
Looking back, I’ve realized how much this scholarship has affected my life. Other than lifting a heavy financial weight off my shoulders that I never could have afforded, it’s mainly allowed me to experience the opportunities and insights that I never would have gained due to my income circumstances; that I am worth what I’ve strived, for even if I am labeled a “poor girl”.
I recall as I was younger, I resented putting up with my parents’ anxious goading about my academics- how good grades were the only ticket out of adversity. Of course, my naivety simply wanted to wander outdoors and never come home. I remember when I was six, I asked my mother if I could take the subway home by myself after school (easy, just follow the candy stores along the way). When she said no, I couldn’t understand.
Even though I still believe there’s more to life than solely school, I’ve come to fully appreciate that you can’t have one without the other, to not take anything for granted because you are always learning; if not something academic, then a life lesson. most of all, having traveled throughout life on scholarships, to remember where you come from no matter how high you’ve achieved. And someday, I hope that I can finally put to rest the worry that someone less fortunate won’t taste what I have – when I look them in the eye, shake their hand, and pass along my success for theirs.