How to Apply for a Scholarship When You’re Painfully Mediocre

ST. PETER, MN – The time is upon us, Gusties, when every other email is an “exciting scholarship opportunity” sent to you by a professor whom you’re not absolutely certain exists outside of your inbox. Having extra money to drag yourself through the hellish bills of a Gustavus degree is appealing to any Gustie also plagued by the “Student Account Statement” emails. Not all scholarship money is created equal, however, and students often fight tooth and nail to get an extra thousand bucks thrown their way. 

Even if you haven’t done cancer research at John’s Hopkins or own a small business dedicated to raising funds for injured marine animals, you may still have a chance at snatching up funds from either foundations or assholes with more money than they know what to do with. Here are The Fourth Crown’s tips to apply for a scholarship when you’re a painfully mediocre student and person:

Find one thing remotely interesting about yourself and milk the hell out of it.

You don’t have to be the next Greta Thunberg to swindle your way to some sweet, sweet cash. The topic of a personal statement for scholarships, as long as you don’t sound like a prick or an idiot in your writing, doesn’t matter all that much. Have you ever had a moment when you needed to persevere through a challenge, like when the caf closes at 8:30 but you have the munchies at 10 and need to scavenge for sustenance? Have you had any leadership experience like planning a beer pong tournament for case day or being the first person to speak in an awkward group project meeting? Utilize these moments of strife in your statement.

If your grades suck (like, really suck) write about why school hasn’t been a priority as of late.

You don’t have to say that your whole family died in a house fire that caused a forest fire which led to your entire town burning to the ground, but if you can talk about a personal emotional or physical struggle, the committee may overlook the fact that you haven’t had a grade above a C- since badminton first year. Don’t talk about how hard COVID has been, though. That’s cheugy.

Use hella buzzwords.

To play the game effectively, you must know the game. Certain key words and phrases like “sustainably developing” or “servant leadership” will get you a long way if you don’t have anything else to say. Talk about your “enlightening growth experience” that “challenged your worldview and revolutionized how you see and interact with systems around you” even if that experience was just not getting off campus housing as a junior.

Write about yourself as if you’re not painfully mediocre and a disappointment to everyone who knows you.

 Sometimes you have to “fake it ‘till you make it” and as long as you can convince yourself that you aren’t the scum of the earth, maybe you’ll convince everyone else, too. If you are truly mediocre, however, you’re in good company. Don’t let feeling bad about being a piece of shit make you feel worse than being a piece of shit already makes you feel.  

Hopefully these helpful tips will make you a shoe-in candidate for that extra $3,000 other students are going insane over!

Categories: CAMPUS NEWS