What to expect next from the application process, as told by a Chevening Scholar

Have you just submitted your Chevening application to study in the UK in the 2023/24 academic year? Hear from Social Media Ambassador (SMA) Hafsat Dauda about what to expect now that you’ve clicked ‘submit’ on your Chevening application.

“On 3 November 2021, Chevening Scholarship applications for the 2022-23 year officially closed, with a whopping 60,000 applications received. That is something!

Many applicants breathed a sigh of relief to finally be able to click ‘submit’ and move on with life. But for others, it marked the beginning of a period of trepidation, with questions of ‘what if?’ and ‘what’s next?’ starting to take over their thoughts.

If I have one piece of advice for all applicants, it is to be on the ‘move on’ train. Nothing is worth agonising over.

I remember last year’s post-submission time like I am still experiencing it. Apart from the times when I sparingly (and mostly jokingly) mentioned that I had applied for a Chevening Scholarship and might be heading over to the UK next year, I really did not give it much thought. Why? Well…

1- There is nothing I could have done about it after I submitted.

Same with you. What’s next is not up to you at this point. What’s next is up to the assessors reading your application.

I understand the power of hope, the passion in dreams, and the courage in faith, especially when you’ve worked so hard and you really want this, but all those are not enough to change the outcome.

2- It is not guaranteed.

You may have put your all into the essays you drafted, but it is still not guaranteed that you’ll be successful.

Last year, the acceptance rate was roughly 2%, so I suggest having the ‘98-2’ mindset. It may happen but with only a 2% chance of making it, the odds are slim. I applied with this mindset and was prepared to be okay with not being selected. I was also prepared to apply again for two more years before taking a break because I firmly believed that the Chevening Scholarship was the one for me.

Just remember that if you’re not selected, it in no way invalidates your efforts or potential. It just means you weren’t what Chevening was looking for this time.

3- Take care of your mental health.

The entire application process is a test of resilience and faith. Be mentally prepared for the journey you have decided to embark on and know that it may not yield the expected result.

You should also be mentally prepared to be even more patient if you are shortlisted and scaled through. As some of my cohort colleagues jokingly say, “we got an MSc in Patience even before we got to the UK”.

If you need additional support, see a therapist or talk to someone you trust.

And if the outcome isn’t what you hoped for, don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself all the time you need to be okay and most importantly, move on with life and do all the things you love.

4- Make plans like you have not applied.

Continue with your life plans like you have not applied for the programme. Do not put a stop to anything based on ‘what ifs’.

Apply for that job or that raise, get into that relationship, have that baby, chase those dreams; dreams are multi-faceted and one should not stop in anticipation of the other. And when the time for Chevening comes, make the decision that is best for you.

5- Make a Chevening-related plan.

Apply to your dream universities (and some more).  Contact your referees. Research English language requirements. Apply for your transcript. Get ready, because you actually may be among the 2%! I know some people who had to drop the scholarship based on not having all the required papers ready – don’t let that be you!

6- Remember why you want this.

If it’s for the greater good, then you will surely find a way to make this vision come to life, Chevening or no Chevening. Just continue to work hard and stay focussed.

You have given your all, but the ball has left your court now. The baton will be handed back if you are shortlisted for an interview. But until such a time, be proud of the application you submitted, look after yourself, and just LIVE!

From Hafsat, With Lots of Love.”

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