July 9, 2012

Taming Scholars “Gone Wild”

Losing a Scholarship Is a Sacrilege
Losing a scholarship is an easy proposition. Why would any serious student do so? Higher education is becoming more and more expensive no matter in which part of the world you may reside. More and more American students are entering the workforce after being graduated with a mountain of debt that they won’t be able to pay off for many years. The phenomenon is becoming a reality in other countries as well. Any person, young or old, desirous of an advanced education, should welcome any financial assistance and should hold meeting the obligations of that assistance as nearly sacred.

Going Wild and Losing Scholarships
“Going wild” to the degree that financial assistance is lost can come in many forms. For instance, students in Mozambique lost their scholarships when they protested against their government’s lack of democratic reform, in spite of the fact that their grades were exemplary. A similar incident occurred in Swaziland when students took part in protests against the government. Malaysian students who are studying overseas are warned to be very careful about their affiliations while abroad. If they are associated with people or organizations that might affect their perceived loyalty to their government, they could lose their funding.

Bringing Down Tyrants with Education
This type of “going wild” is somewhat understandable because of the “good heart” of the students and the repressiveness of their governments. The fact is, funding is still lost. Perhaps if these students had been a little more cautious, they could have fought the repression more ably after earning a degree. In fact, it would be sweet to bring down a repressive regime using an education that the tyrants themselves had paid for.

Racist American Students Lose Scholarships
Other ways along the line of this sort of “going wild” have brought other students down. In an American state university, a number of marching band members lost their scholarships because of their racist taunts of students of Hispanic extraction who were questioned about their citizenship status. Illegal foreigners receiving student aid is a big problem in America at this time. None of the students who were taunted were illegally in school; they were reviled merely because of their Hispanic heritage. Thus, those band member students lost their scholarships because of their racism.

Sometimes “Going Wild” Is Not Wild at All
Often, failing to do the work required to maintain a scholarship doesn’t mean “going wild” at all; it’s just the failure to get out of bed to attend class or doing the work to maintain a grade point average – abject laziness, in other words. In America, some students receive their scholarships shortly before leaving their senior year of high school. Complacent, they develop what is called “senioritis” which is a “disease” of carelessness. Their grade averages fall, they lose their hard–won scholarships, and find themselves scrambling for money the summer before they enter university.

Sometimes “Going Wild” Is Truly Wild
No doubt about it, a human life is made of many epochs, and young adulthood is an especially wonder–filled time of life. Young people can have their heads turned because of the endless possibilities life holds. Sometimes they are swept away by friends who are not  academically inclined. Sometimes worse, they are beguiled by the acquisition and use of drugs or alcohol. The bad thing is, if ever there was a time when self–discipline is required, it is in this young time; yet the age or maturity that usually accompanies self–discipline is not there. Youngsters must look beyond these distractions and muster all in their character to avoid losing their scholarships and their chance at a higher education.

Consider Going Wild Before Botching Scholarships
Probably the most thing young people should do is examine their own lives, their own estimation of their abilities – not just academically – and to understand as completely as possible what might be right for themselves. It could very well be that some time off from the academic world before assuming the responsibility of a college or university education would be a good idea. They should leave their good grades intact, drop out and see the world, and then go back and get those scholarships and use them when they are more able because of increased maturity, or a clearer eye as to their goals in life. Once scholarships or trusts are abused, it is very difficult to go back and recover from that abuse.

Elements to Tame Scholars Gone Wild Are in Place
Once young people have built the trust of those willing to grant money to them through their grades, their athletic prowess, or other extraordinary achievement, the elements are in place to prevent them from squandering the opportunity:
  • Free Money
  • Self-Satisfaction
  • Earning Power of a Degree
  • Prestige of Being a Scholarship Winner
  • Availability of Even More Opportunity
  • Admiration of Peers, Educators, and Family
If having these wonderful elements in a student’s life is not enough to keep them from “going wild,” not much more can be done to save wild students beyond putting them in a cell full of books with escorts to and from class. Even severe strategies such as that would most probably fail. It is simply up to the character and the pragmatic outlook of the student to resist the temptation to “go wild.” Success is ultimately an individual accomplishment.

About the Author: Patrick Del Rosario is part of the team behind Open Colleges. It is one of Australia’s pioneer and leading providers of Open Colleges Accounting courses. When not working, Patrick enjoys blogging, travelling, and photography. Patrick together with his father runs a Photo Studio in the Philippines. 

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