Last year I wasn't chosen for a single department scholarship and it broke my heart. You can laugh if you want, but I literally would play out getting those scholarships in my head. Getting even one scholarship last year would have meant everything I had pushed through was worth it, and all I could think was how I was the one who should have had my name printed next to this scholarship on the brochure. Now maybe you think I'm cocky and full of myself but let me explain all that I didn't mention explicitly last year because I didn't think I had to—I didn't want to use my so-called sob story to get this scholarship but let me tell you why you all not picking me hit so deep.
Let's start at freshman year, shall we? I started college 8 days after having stomach surgery. My mom refers to this as her biggest mistake because I wasn't mentally or physically ready, but I think this was one of her best parenting moves because, without that one choice, I never would have met Jennifer Hafer. She made me fall in love with economics and during my freshman year of college, I got an A in macroeconomics. One thing I didn't mention to any of you until after the fact was that my surgery didn't take my pain away. I was miserable my whole second semester, but I never missed a day class. I never made one single excuse. Maybe you don't understand how big of a deal this is so let me explain to you, if a doctor told me I was dying I would have believed them without a single doubt. My stomach should have destroyed me and my college career.
Moving on to Sophomore year. I had lost my mentor and my job with the department. When Jennifer moved on, I didn't know if I loved Econ because of her or if I loved it for myself. I had a lot of doubts, but something in my heart told me I was meant for this. On top of losing so much already, due to the problems with my stomach, I started having anxiety attacks and had to be put on medication. Once again, I never made an excuse. Even during a pandemic my love and dedication to this department never wavered even after I knew it wasn't my name printed on that brochure.
Now here's my junior year. My future is already written, and I want you to hear it from me first. My second year as a president of student Econ society. I have 3 majors. My GPA is going to get me straight into graduate school. I'm going to be something special, someone for this university to remember. This year I had every reason to be mad at every single one of you for not choosing me last year, but instead, I chose to thank you because, through all of this, my dedication to my education has become even stronger. Every day I went to class with a chip on my shoulder and proved to you that I was a different kind of student. No one has worked harder than me these past 3 years and none of you can take that away from me.
I guess what I'm trying to say through all of this is that you all made a mistake by not choosing me last year. I have had every reason to walk away from this degree, but I let my heartbreak fuel me. The person I have grown into is because of this degree. My Econ degree meant getting my heart broken but loving it anyway.
I'll end this story by saying if you think there is someone more deserving, that has put more heart into this department, by all means, give it to them, but I have faith that you won't make the same mistake twice. But I have faith that you all know It's me, it's always been me.