Kavita Chandran: A Scholar's Life

America!!! Whoa my jaws drop the moment I saw on the screen that I was offered to further my studies in the United States. I am going to be a scholar. I was speechless and stunned that particular moment, my mum next to me was constantly being grateful because I was offered a scholarship. I started making preparations mentally and physically.  Eventually the day arrived where I was required to register myself in a university stated by my sponsors. Now I realize that I am going to be different compared to my other schoolmates who are also furthering their studies but they are not going to be a scholar like me. I am not meaning it in a way where I am down grading them and telling that I am better than them but a scholar’s life is definitely different compared to a normal student’s life.

As time pass by I get to meet a lot of other scholar’s just like me but they come from really different backgrounds. And when I mean different background they are really from different backgrounds. Some are from a mediocre family, rich family while some scholar’s just end up whining and not being grateful on what that they have received. One of the first things that I have to deal when I am called as scholar is that I had to learn to adapt with other people’s attitude and character. Besides that I had to learn to adapt with some of their cultures and customs since scholars are randomly selected from all over Malaysia.

For instance, in my class I had to deal with some student who is really sensitive. Some also want us to treat them just like the way they are treated in home. I also realized that some of them were really nice to me. They always complimented me and gave me support when I am down or never in a good mood. Meeting people from different backgrounds indeed made me a stronger person in reality because I learnt to adapt in this situation.  As a scholar I learnt to be an independent person. I learnt to do a lot of paperwork because my parents were busy most of the time and I live quite far away from home I had to settle it all by my own. I would say that it will be one of a plus point to be a scholar because I remembered way back at home I was so clingy that I gave everything to my dad to do all the work. Being a scholar has definitely opened my eyes in many other perspectives.

As a scholar I was also criticized by other students especially those with better SPM results saying that I stole their scholarship and that is why I will be flying overseas and they will be continuing their degree locally. Not only them some of them who are really not satisfied always mention that I am studying using the tax payers money and I should like “sedar diri” who I am. I would not say that their statement is wrong but asking us to realize who we are and constantly mentioning this statement really hurts me because my dad also pays tax too.

As a scholar there are always ups and down. So some of the great times I had were that I managed build a strong bond with other mates or commonly in a formal term known as scholars because we are asked to stay together and even study together in the same class so it was like we are all inseparable. All nice things do come to an end. During my third semester when I realized that I am going to leave my friend because some of them are leaving to the States  and studying all over United States while some opt to stay for another year. How unlucky could it be when one of them is my roommate. She chooses to stay for another year. As days pass by I noticed that we are really going to miss each other really badly. I noticed that when I whet for a camp as one of the pre-requirement to fly first year my roomie was screaming in excitement the moment she saw me back home after the camp. She also constantly reminds me that we need to take a lot of pictures as remembrance.  My life was good and I was asked to separate from my dearest roommate the girl who I can gossip with until late night, tell her all my secrets and tease her non-stop. And as I am writing this article my heart feels so heavy to actually leave the life that I have right now. But this is life and we need to move on in everything that we do. There are sometimes when we have to take different pathways in our lives.

I will not deny as a scholar your will rarely have financial constrain since we are given allowance on time, books are paid for us and tuition fee is also covered.  As for me since I stayed in Kuala Lumpur so my allowance was rarely touched because my parents still give me allowance and pay for my expenses in Malaysia. But for some of my scholar friends when they overspend they are unable to save their money and finish their allowance. So technically it all boils down to yourself in being smart and thrifty to control your money.

Being a scholar is definitely a privilege for me because currently I feel really grateful for what I have obtained so far. As I am writing this article right now there is only two more days left for me to complete my foundation and I might never ever meet my dearest roommate again or the rest of my friends whom I have made bonds and relationships with. This sounds really painful and indeed it is really hurtful. But deep down I really hope that I will be given a chance to meet up with them again.

Finally as for those who reading this article, here I am saying that I am really grateful to be a scholar and for future scholars out there remember to cherish the life that you will undergo in the future because it is indeed a really different experience and an experience that money can never buy. I repeat “money can never buy” that experience. For those kids out there who are ready to be called as a scholar be prepared to embrace all sorts of challenges in your future. I wish all of you good luck and I hope that someday it will be you are the one writing the same article.

Kavita Chandran | University of Washington, Seattle(Class of 2015)

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