Summer is about half-way over for Gannon-Goers right about now and what do I have to show for it? I’ve made a little money waitressing at Luigi’s, I’ve made some good memories with my friends from home and I’ve been applying for as many scholarships as I can.

I’m currently lounging by the pool on my family vacation, so all that work and essay-writing clearly hasn’t consumed my summer.

Gannon has a cornucopia of merit scholarships just waiting to be awarded to deserving students and the best part about those is that you can apply for them when you apply for school. It’s literally no extra work. I know from personal experience that there aren’t many scholarships that are that easy to submit.

I use Cappex and Fastweb as my sources of scholarships. All I had to do was create a profile, tell them where I’m going to school and my interests, and they matched me up with scholarship foundations that fit me. This is much easier than weeding through a million applications that you complete before realizing you aren’t “a member of the Inuit tribe of A’aninin,” so you don’t actually qualify for the scholarship. I’m really glad I took that hour to write an essay on what the Arctic Tundra means to me.

I’m definitely learning the value of saving my work this way. You never know when or if you might need that essay on the Arctic Tundra again. Most foundations are just looking for a sample of writing or trying to get a feel for what kind of a person I am. I figure I’m just saving myself some time and effort by keeping a copy of the essays I’ve written. This way, I can produce a high quality writing sample without spending too much extra time writing or editing. If I don’t feel like it’s worth saving, then the people awarding the scholarship probably wouldn’t think so either, so I proofread and make sure it’s a quality piece.

You might also be surprised at the places you can find scholarships. I got a scholarship from my high school band, my bank has scholarships and the restaurant where I work even gives scholarships. And just because school is over, doesn’t mean the guidance office closes– that’s where they keep the goodies! I have it on my to-do list to take a day to get out of my pajamas and go pick my old guidance counselor’s brain. Maybe she even misses me!

For now, I’m going to put all of my efforts into Cannonballing my sister in the pool. Enjoy the rest of your summer!