Tips from SI Awardees to survive the scholarship waiting game


Written by Nana

14 Mar 2024

So, you’ve submitted your SI (Swedish Institute) scholarship application? *Cue the restless nights and endless refreshes of your email inbox.* But no, no no! Before you succumb to full-blown panic mode, take a deep breath and check out these tried-and-true tips from our seasoned SI Awardees.

We’ve gathered some advice from experienced SI scholarship holders who’ve navigated this nerve-wracking phase with grace and grit. From keeping busy with certification courses to practicing mindfulness, they have plenty of practical advice to help you stay sane during this period.

1. Stay busy with productive activities

Engaging in activities that stimulate your mind and contribute to your personal or professional growth can be an excellent way to keep anxiety at bay.

Lorraine Eniarrol: “I signed up for a certification course that kept me busy! The anxiety was real, but preparing for my certification exam helped keep my mind off the scholarship for some time.”

Doing sports or any hobbies will also help you a lot! // Credit: Excited Team Sports GIF By Volo Sports

2. Focus on the bigger picture

Keeping your ultimate objectives in mind can help you stay focused and motivated amidst the uncertainty.

Jeff Derby: “One thing that helped me was to keep the big picture in mind “contribute to sustainable development in my context”. This kept me focused on still contributing my energy into some good, while waiting on the announcements.”

3. Embrace mindfulness practices

Cultivating a positive mindset through mindfulness can equip you with the resilience needed to navigate this challenging period.

Tamar Tako Kikacheishvili: ”Meditation and mindfulness is a very good tool to decrease the stress level. I did breathing exercises. My attitude was that whatever happens it’s for the best and also had much work that time.”

A mindful quote tied to a tree in a Swedish forest during winter.
A writing on a tree that I found while walking around the woods. Translation: Hug yourself and be happy that you take a moment and prioritize yourself. Focus on small things you can do to make you feel good inside and out. Have a nice day!” //Photo: Nana

4. Take pride in your efforts

Regardless of the outcome, recognize and celebrate the dedication you’ve shown in pursuing your goals.

Nata Maglakelidze: “A key insight for me was realizing that I did my best and had already completed all the steps within my control. After applying for the SI scholarship twice, I learned from the first unsuccessful application and dedicated substantial effort towards improvement. Therefore, the best advice I can offer is to maintain pride in your efforts, persist in your endeavors, and concentrate on other tasks at hand.”

5. Maintain patience and positivity

Trust in your abilities, stay optimistic, and believe that everything will unfold as it should.

Iresha Nayani Dharmadasa: “To be honest, the period of waiting was killing me inside out but it helped me to build my patience and positivity. Just keep believing in yourself, dream about your future self and keep a calm mindset. Good luck everyone! You are not alone, I was there too!”

Rehied Khair: “It took me 6 applications to realize that it’s ok if I am not accepted this year, I can always try again. And on that particular year, when I decided to completely not to think or worry about my application or the results, and continue doing my work for my goals, I got the SI!”

6. Focus on personal growth

Regardless of the outcome, reflect on the lessons learned and the progress made along the way. View the application process as an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. 

Katherine Camacho: “I was thinking about the future ahead in a sense that I could only “win” from this situation. Granted or not, the fact that I was able to finish the application taught me a lot about myself. So, I would say that from this experience you are already gaining a lot and whatever matters later, you should feel proud of this big step you have taken.”

A group of international people in Sweden sitting at a table outdoors and hanging out.
Enjoying time with friends and family is important because things are going to change soon 🙂 // Credits: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/

7. Keep pursuing alternate paths

Explore alternative opportunities and maintain a sense of gratitude for the present moment, knowing that each experience contributes to your journey. Don’t attach your self-worth solely to the scholarship result.

Grecia Dalila Romero: “Rather than tying your self-worth to a single outcome, focus on your value as a person. We have the power to make positive contributions to the world regardless of our circumstances. Appreciating the moments with family, work, and other activities despite the uncertainty are crucial. If we can appreciate our current season, the next to come will also be amazing!”

Indiwari Mihindukulasooriya Gamage: “Since it is highly competitive I had a plan B too. While waiting for the results I was focusing on plan B, so that kept me busy. We all who have applied for the scholarship are professionals, so focusing on your work also might help. Good luck to everyone!”

8. Have faith and stay grounded

Stay grounded, have faith in yourself, and focus on making a positive impact, regardless of the outcome.

Carlo Ipac: “Keep yourself on the ground. SI has a 5% acceptance rate on the average, so you have to manage your expectations. Even without the scholarship, give yourself a pat on the back because you already are a great person. The scholarship is just a bonus. Now, just hope for the best, and focus on what needs to be done to make this world a better place for all.”

Even though it feels like forever, but hang in there! There’s always light at the end of the tunnel~ // Credit: Its Been A Long Time Waiting GIF

And there you have it – a collection of wisdom from those who’ve walked the scholarship tightrope and lived to tell the tale. So as you continue your journey towards scholarship success, remember to take things one step at a time, stay positive, and never underestimate the power of a good distraction (hello, Netflix binge sessions!). 

Whether you’re destined for scholarship or gearing up for round two, know that you’re capable, resilient, and oh-so-worthy of that scholarship dream. So here’s to embracing the uncertainty, staying focused on your goals, and rocking that waiting game like the true scholar-in-waiting that you are! You’ve got this! 🌟


Written by Nana

14 Mar 2024