Stumbles along the PhD path

I have just learned that I was unsuccessful in my application for a full-tuition scholarship from the University of Glasgow. I am, to say the least, gutted. I had really wished and hoped that I would be able to waltz into my PhD without financial worries, but it seems that God thinks I’m stronger than that. (God, if you’re listening: I’m not that strong. Can you please throw me a golden bone?)

I know it seems silly, but I really thought that I would be OK and that a scholarship would come through. I know that this isn’t a slight at my abilities or my academic worth – but even knowing that my ego is a bit battered and bruised now. And I am trying to keep my composure at the moment because the news has been more upsetting than I imagined it would be.

Still, this isn’t the end! This is not a sign that it’s time to give up; rather it’s a sign that it’s time to look at other options and opportunities. And, as luck would have it, I’ve been working away behind the scenes! You know, just in case today happened.

So, now what?

Well, first of all, I have been looking at other PhD opportunities; ones that are sponsored through studentships, meaning that the bulk of my funding would be guaranteed.

But, more importantly, I have been looking at alternative ways to fund my PhD studies in general. After all, even if one of my backup school options comes through, they won’t be a full-ride. Plus that, if I take a place with a studentship, I won’t be able to work more than 10 hours a week because of contract agreements. (To clarify: Glasgow is still my first choice, but if another university can help me with the costs, I have to be realistic and follow the money. That’s life sometimes.)

I have been getting things lined up for my alternative funding ideas for several weeks now, and hope to be able to share the full story with you sometime next week. In the meantime, I will try to stay positive. I will try to think happy thoughts. And I will try to remain hopeful.

But if you have any spare encouragement or prayers that you can send my way just now, I’ll take them, because life is easier when people are cheering you on!

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