By O.O

“The only thing you really control in life is your preparation. You may be up against more devious, more intelligent, or more excitable people, but you can’t control their conduct, steal their skills, or tranquilize their emotions. You can’t control external events. But if you prepare yourself and your team fully, you know that you will have done all you can do to achieve an optimal result.” ~ Ronald Shapiro

Have you checked your Chevening application status? What does “being assessed”, “being reviewed”, “under eligibility review” imply? This was the outburst from a Chevening applicant whatsapp group I participate in.As questions appeared pandemonium broke loose, you could detect panic and anxiety among the applicants on the group. For the rush of adrenaline, I hurriedly logged in to my application portal, checked my status and laughed… winter is coming soon and the Chevening “status craze” has just begun, be prepared!

The Chevening Status Craze

“Whatever makes you crazy is what you were created to crack. Whatever makes you sleepless is what you were born to succeed in. Don’t give up!”- Israelmore Ayivor

I can’t remember whoever named it the “status craze” but I know it is the closest word that perfectly describes what you feel doing the Chevening application process.  It’s one of the fun and crazy part of applying for Chevening scholarship right from the start of the application period to the selection process. It practically starts around winter (late December) when all the essays have fully being assessed (no pun intended). It is at this stage the craze, panic and anxiety begins among applicants and they end up confusing each other. I am sure this Chevening guys at London starts having fun at this stage. I would advise everyone as an experienced Chevening applicant (applied last year, hence the diploma in Chevening application) that it is not the time to start panicking or worrying, it is not the time to start comparing status differences as there are bound to be, but rather, a time to time yourself, brace yourself and be prepared for whatever lies ahead. It is not too late to start preparation/book your IELTS, university admissions, references and of course interview preparation.

In preparing for the Chevening application outcomes, there are two things that are crucial:

Hope for the best and prepared for the worst.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

The act of preparing for the Chevening application outcome is a crucial mechanism, where we read signals, see trends and ruthlessly test our own assumptions. Like T.A. said “the acceptance rate for Chevening is 3%  (1,700 out of 65,000 applicants worldwide last year), any advantage you can give yourself toward the next application or furthering your goals in a future without Chevening (which is 97% probable) is as asset to you”. You need to get ready to accept disappointment on the way and I am not excluded. Like you, I also have to be ready for the emotional pain of not getting to the interview stage while also envisaging the possibilities of a successful Chevening application. Therefore, hope for the best, prepare for the worst and capitalize on outcomes.

Consider Alternatives

“Real life, however, is very different from school sums. There is usually more than one answer. Some answers are much better than others: they cost less, are more reliable or are easier to implement. There is no reason at all for supposing that the first answer has to be the best one.”― Edward de Bono,

Due to the popularity and competitiveness of the Chevening scholarship in attracting global leaders from across the world, there is a lower acceptance rate of applicants. Thus, it is quite realistic to say that not everyone as a matter of fact only about 3-4% of the initial applicants will be eventually selected. So we better start considering different alternatives to the Chevening scholarship, I know a lot of scholars who won different scholarships and selected Chevening, some who were rejected by Chevening but went ahead to win some other prestigious scholarship and some who rejected Chevening scholarship for other scholarships. Regardless of what scholarship each scholar decides to go for, they all have one thing in common; they considered various alternatives to the Chevening scholarship.

In conclusion, no one ever selected for Chevening scholarship was 100% certain likewise those rejected.  I believe that confidence is preparation; everything else is beyond your control. Ignoring whatever the outcome maybe, let’s be prepared to face the New Year with both certainty and uncertainty while being hopeful. Wish you all a great festive season and a happy new year in advance, see you all next year.

It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. – Whitney M. Young, Jr.


*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect that of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), its partner organizations or any scholarship awarding institution.



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