This week, there were three lottery tickets that were sold with winning numbers for the lottery jackpot of $1.6 billion. Just hearing about the extremely high jackpot was incredible to me, not to mention more incredible that the winners of the three winning tickets will be splitting those monies between them. That kind of money is simply that which I am unable to fathom. I mean, what does one do with 100s of millions of dollars? Certainly, it is nice to have money. More than just enough to live on, with a bit of a cushion or buffer, is always good. But, being the winner of a lottery jackpot requires a lifestyle change that is likely a difficult adjustment for some.
Believing myself to be a person who is not very “lucky,” I am not a gambler. There are definitely certain calculated risks that I have taken in my life, I have invested in the stock market in the past, and I have earned some money on some investments, however I am not one to play the lottery. In fact, I think I may have played the lottery only once. That was in a similar situation in the past few years when the jackpot was insanely high. I really just played it for the fun of it, and bought only one ticket. The odds of ever being the winner just never pan out in those types of situations anyway. Why put money out there if there will be no return on it? And I already know that I am generally not a person who is “lucky,” so why waste my money. That’s my philosophy.
I am a person, however, who will apply for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and monetary awards. In the past, I have applied for several of them, and have received them. Most recently, between six to seven years ago when I was earning my healthcare certificate at a local technical college, I received the Hope Grant which helped finance my studies. I am thankful to all of the taxpayers out there in Georgia who supported my education in healthcare. I believe the grant I received was about $750 per semester for three semesters. That was really helpful!
More recently, in the past three years, I have applied for several scholarships and a grant to support my studies in counseling. Unfortunately, while I have been eligible to receive them, I have not been selected to get any of them. I applied for merit and academic scholarships at my university, and would likely be among the top candidates for receipt of them, however none have been awarded to me. Within the past two months, I applied for a $5,000 grant in the counseling field through a national counseling organization, and was not selected for that either. More recent than that, I wrote an essay for yet another national counseling organization in application for another scholarship, and am waiting to hear back – probably that I was not selected to receive it.
Certainly, I have the writing skills, and I have the knowledge, commitment, and dedication to always do my best in whatever I do. However, receiving $500, $1,000, or – can you imagine – $5,000 would really go a long way for me. I often wonder why it is that those people who sometimes have the greatest financial need are those who are most often overlooked. I would be happy to provide my tax returns for the past several years to reflect my financial status and to prove my financial need. This, however, never seems to be good enough.
So, here I am again, back at square one. I am glad not to have gotten my hopes up about any of those grants or scholarships. I could have recently applied for a fellowship, as well, but the particular organization that hosted it wanted winners to invest too much out of pocket than I am willing to do. At any rate, it would have been nice to receive even a small scholarship or financial award rather than financing so much of my education for my second graduate level degree through student loans. Obtaining the $5,000 grant could have already paid down the interest that has accrued on my student loans.
I cannot say that I did not try. At least I made the effort to apply for these scholarships and the grant. Now I know that I would not have received them whether I applied or not, but at least I applied. One never knows unless you try. I have gained nothing, but I have lost nothing either. I am not that discouraged because I did not elevate my hopes for anything, though it would have been nice to receive a small sum to support my efforts toward becoming established in the counseling profession.