I just sent in my papers for a fairly significant scholarship. This scholarship will mean an end to my poor-student status and allow me to stop worrying about sourcing funds for expenses such as electives, rent, textbooks, food and new socks. I should be euphoric. But intermingled with feelings of relief and hopeful anticipation, is a deep-seated resentment towards the organisation.
Applying for this scholarship ranks as one of the hardest things I have done in medical school.
The online application, which I completed just before applications closed, was a true test of a student’s ability to decipher unnecessarily overcomplicated jargon (and not even medical jargon). In the end I gave up and skim-read all of the questions before hastily adding my responses.
I was pretty excited to hear that I’d been awarded the scholarship “conditionally”, as all I had to do was provide a few supporting documents and sign a statutory declaration form. Easy.
Then I looked at the list of documents.
- A letter from the university (sounds simple unless you’ve met our coordinator).
- Copy of my birth certificate
- Centrelink income statement
Not too hard to find ... I kept scrolling down the list
- Tax office notice of assessment from 2008-09, and 2009-10
- Statement from an employer to prove I’ve been employed in a rural area
- Membership card from a rural sporting club
- PRIMARY SCHOOL REPORT CARD
Do they really need to know all of this??
I spent an agonising 20 minutes with the poor pharmacist who’d agreed to certify all of my documents, carefully checking and double-checking that we had everything on the list before I sent it off with all of my hopes and dreams.
And then I spent a good 20 minutes Google searching the organisation to make sure they weren’t just trying to steal my identity.