It’s hard to believe that November’s almost over, but the Christmas lights and holiday jingles are here to stay until January. Whether or not you’re preparing for the freezing temperatures to come, make sure you make some time to stay inside and finish these 32 scholarships. Some of these will only take 5 minutes, and others require no U.S. citizenship status, so in addition to your holiday wish list make sure you’re also working on your to-do list!
Happy Saturday everyone and welcome to the Wavy Girls’ Guide to Research series! I’ve started this series to encourage and prepare other girls to venture into their own research project not only as an academic challenge but also as a journey of self-discovery and improvement. Research doesn’t just have to involve books and old documents- as you open your eyes to the world around you, you unconsciously discover more about yourself. I mentioned in my last blog post about traveling to Mexico this summer to conduct research on Marian Devotion in Monterrey, but I saved the best details for this series.
As a Math and Econ Major I didn’t believe I was capable of doing research at the same level as a lot of my peers; not only was I intimidated by the fact that I’ve barely touched upon these topics, I just didn’t have any confidence in my academic abilities. Research was this huge complicated and scary concept for me that I thought only grad students and scientists attempted, however this misconception was challenged after reading Umberto Eco’s How to Write a Thesis (a book that I highly recommend you read before going down the research route). Eco eloquently breaks down the steps of beginning your own study in such a simple manner that I felt motivated to take on my own research project. I started to see research as an opportunity to complement my STEM-heavy courses with a more humanities-based approach, something that ignited my interest and pushed me to learn more about doing research.
While I’ve been back in New York City for a while I’ve still been trying to put into words the experiences and memories I’ve created this summer, and I still can’t even decide where I want to begin this journey of reflection. As you may or may not know I had the privilege of spending my summer outside of the United States: I studied abroad for six weeks in Madrid and then went back home to Monterrey, Mexico for two weeks to conduct research on popular female perceptions of Our Lady of Guadalupe (and yes, there will be a blog post on doing research soon!). Madrid was beautiful and pushed me towards learning more about who I am and what I want in life, but being in Mexico was such a refreshing reminder of my roots and overall my favorite experience abroad.
I’ve said this before on here, but as someone who grew up in a low-income household I always viewed travelling as a luxury that I’d never be able to do at this age. I had to negotiate and talk to many people at NYU to get the funding for Madrid, and a lot of work was put in so that I could earn travel grants for my research in Mexico. I’m a strong believer of putting yourself out there to get what you want, and I don’t think anyone’s financial situation should prevent them from living their best life (but if you’re stuck, click here for a list of study abroad scholarships I created). To be honest with you there were moments I felt guilt, as if I wasn’t supposed to be in Europe, and it was tough having to miss out on several experiences because I could not afford them, yet being able to say I lived in Spain for a period of time is something I never imagined.
You always seem to see and hear about the great things surrounding college: yes, you meet new people, you get to experience new opportunities, and you are finally an adult! It’s all so amazing and exciting, and even if college classes are difficult how bad could it get, right? Adjusting to college life and to new responsibilities, however, is something people don’t really talk about because of shame or discomfort. Change is really hard, and nobody talks in detail about all the personal obstacles and about those moments where you really doubt if you even belong in college.
Talking about their own experiences in college and what they wish they would have known are Ana Espaderos and Maria Mendoza, current undergrad students at Texas A&M and Harvard University, respectively. Their stories are not only inspiring but also refreshing reminders that success never comes easy.
Make sure you’re still applying; remember there are so many organizations who want to give you money to go to college, but you have to apply apply apply!
Hispanic Scholarship Fund– March 30
Awards range from $500-$5,000. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students eligible. DACA and eligible non-citizens eligible.
The SleekLens Academic Scholarship- March 30
Requires an essay on given instructions. Three winners, award of $2,000. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students eligible.
Facing Acne Scholarship– March 31
Requires recording a short video about how the internet has helped you. One award of $2,000. High school seniors and college students eligible.
For students looking to work in the mental health sector. Requires essay. One award of $1,000.
Requires essay. One award for $2,000. High school and college students eligible.
College Success Scholarship– April 1st
Requires photo submission. One award for $1,000. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students eligible.
Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund– April 1st
For students involved in social and economic justice. Available grants up to $10,000 per year. Requires application, personal statement, two (2) letters of recommendation, FAFSA Student Aid Report, financial need information, and transcripts. Undergrad and graduate students eligible.
Requires essay. One $1,000 award. Must be enrolled in post-secondary institution.
Vivint Smart Home Scholarship– April 1
Requires recording a short video. One award of $5,000. High school seniors and college students eligible.
AFSA High School Scholarships– April 7
Open to high school seniors. Ten (10) awards available for $2,000.
For high school seniors/incoming college freshmen who have type 1 diabetes. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.
Picture Keeper Scholarship– April 15
Requires essay, photograph, and transcript. Three awards: $1,500, $1,o00, and a Picture Keeper Connect. High school, undergrad, and graduate students eligible.
Women in STEM Scholarship– April 15
Requires essay and photo. One $3,000 award. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics eligible.
All About Education Scholarship– April 30
Requires short essay. One award for $3,000. Must be 13 years or older to be eligible.
HENAAC Scholarship- April 30
For students of Hispanic origin pursuing science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Offers three types of scholarships: Corporate/Government Sponsored, Special Recognition, and In Memoriam and Personal Tribute. Requires essay, application, resume, two letters of recommendation, transcript, and photo. Awards range from $500 to $10,000. Undergrad and Graduate students eligible.
Requires essay. Three (3) awards for $2,000 each. High school seniors, undergrad, and graduate students eligible.
Truth Initiative Scholarships– April 30
For students innovatively confronting tobacco use. Two (2) awards for $5,000. Requires proof of financial need.
Do Something Scholarships:
- Rinse, Recycle, Repeat– April 30
- Make a recycling bin. One award for $5,000.
- Suspended for WHAT?: Amplify– April 30
- Share stories of unfair school punishment and harsh discipline. One award for $3,000.
- Suspended for WHAT?: Advocate– April 30
- Meet with your principal to demand fairer policies. One award for $2,000.
Superpower Scholarship– April 31
Requires shorts essay. One award for $2,500. Must be 13 years or older to be eligible.
Spring semester is underway which means one thing: you’re most likely trying to figure out your living situation for the next school year. Should you stay on campus where you often have to wake up at 2 a.m. because some idiot made the fire alarm go off trying to microwave a Poptart? Or should you deal with having to go to sleep for dinner because rent is due tomorrow? I’ve been fortunate enough to get a taste of both and have realized that I don’t have a favorite because each option has its positive and negative features. There is no single answer that can suit everybody, and it all depends on what you’re willing to take on or deal without.
Living on campus:
- You inherently develop a sense of community with other students and establish long-lasting friendships without having to go out of your way. There are countless events both in your residence hall and around campus that are free and only a couple minutes away. Living on campus is a fun experience that you won’t be able to come across again after graduating.
- Most resources are made easily available to you for free. There is most likely a security guard up front at all times, maintenance people who keep the place nice and clean (don’t forget to thank them when you see them!), and nearby facilities such as the gym, student resource center, and dining halls. You don’t have to worry about buying furniture or toilet paper, and it’s just easier.
- You are most likely within walking distance to all your classes which is super convenient when you accidentally sleep through your alarms and have three minutes to run to your midterm.
- Nearby dining halls. Cooking can be hard and time-consuming when you’re adjusting to college life and weekly grocery trips are also a hassle, not to mention the limited fridge space doesn’t help.
- There are no monthly bills or payments you have to worry about; why stack on something else to stress about in addition to all the work and responsibilities you’re already overwhelmed with?
- Space and privacy are limited. Sharing a closet-sized room with a complete stranger is exciting at first until you realize you haven’t had any time by yourself and you have no where to store your half of your belongings.
- There are a lot of sacrifices you must make to keep peace with your roommates. You must respect quiet hours and adjust to your roommate’s sleeping schedule, and bringing friends (and “friends”) over requires strategic planning and agreement.
- You must also take into consideration the rules placed by the residence halls or your RA’s. These can vary from monthly mandatory RA meetings, not being able to bring your own furniture into your dorm rooms, or not being allowed to burn candles(if you’re into that kind of thing.) While you are living here it is not your space to have full control over.
- You are stuck in a bubble and don’t really put in the effort to get out and explore outside of campus. There is more to life than your college community, and there are so many different places to see and people to meet that allow you to escape this bubble. It’s easy to forget that there is an outside world when you’re constantly involved on campus.
- Communal bathrooms. Need I say more?
Living off campus:
- You have much more freedom and are further introduced to adulthood, meaning you have complete agency over your living situation and no longer have to worry about your RA’s or residence hall’s rules. You earn more real-life experience and consequently become a more responsible person. Independence is fun and very rewarding if you know how to be responsible and discipline yourself!
- If you have your own bedroom/apartment the privacy, space, and are able to do whatever you want whenever are great! There are no rules to how you want to decorate, where you want to store your belongings, etc. This space is 100% yours.
- It is most likely cheaper to rent than to dorm. A year-long lease means you will also have a place to stay for the summer if you plan on staying to either take up an internship or job or enroll in summer classes.
- You’re not required to pay for a meal plan and can cook for yourself. This is not only cheaper but also allows you to be more flexible with your diet: you can pick healthier foods and will actually know what ingredients are going into your meals for a change. You also won’t get tired of eating the same icky dining hall food every day.
- You get to escape the crazy campus life for a little and meet people outside of university, whether it be your neighbors or other students and young professionals living nearby. You are exposed to other opportunities outside of school and are able to explore new places and points of interest. It is a really nice change from campus grounds.
- You have much more freedom and are further introduced to adulthood, meaning there’s a longer list of responsibilities you are obligated to manage. You have to pay your rent and bills on time, you have to abide by your landlord’s leasing terms and maintain your place neat, and you have to buy your own toilet paper (and remember to restock before it runs out!)
- Renting an apartment can be tricky. If you live in New York City apartments may only be in the market for ten minutes before they’re gone and you’re required to have a guarantor who makes at least 80 times the amount of rent in salary (this number can vary). You have to have all of your paperwork ready and understand how a lease works, which is challenging if you’ve never been exposed to this before.
- While it is cheaper to rent you must account for other expenses such as furniture, household necessities, and groceries. You also have to keep track of these and budget wisely each month since you do still have to pay rent.
- You are most likely living further away from campus and must commute to class every day, and you have to plan your day according to your commute ahead of time. It becomes harder to be as involved in extracurricular activities and campus life when you’re not actually on campus most of the time. It can also get lonely if you are living on your own or if your roommates are never home.
Any other suggestions you’d like to share from personal experience?