Take a look at leaders from various fields and industries. Whether it be in public service, healthcare, engineering, computer science, or philanthropy and one will find that many of these leaders took numerous risks. Now these risks aren't that which involve putting one's personal safety or life in danger. These individuals took risks that assisted in the attainment of a noble pursuit or goal. Take Mark Zuckerberg when he invented Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, Sheryl Sandberg when she launched her "Lean In" campaign, and President Barack Obama when he first went off to Chicago to become a community organizer. All of these leaders took chances with what they were passionate about, put in the work and have reaped the benefits and influence they sought. So one may ask, how does this apply to the college and scholarship application process?
First, any application that one fills out is a risk in and of itself. Regardless of how qualified one may be, no one is guaranteed or entitled to any scholarship or university admission. In addition to this, with every passing year, as more and more individuals submit applications, the odds become more statistically daunting for any aspiring applicant. With all this said, however, at the end of the day normal individuals gain admission to some of the most competitive universities, and normal individuals win some of the most competitive scholarships. These individuals aren't superhuman, they are just normal driven teens who are taking a chance with an application when they open up. So at the end of the day if one feels qualified in the least way, one might as well take a chance and apply! If one doesn't take a chance, one may never know what opportunity possibly awaited.
Now with that said, if one is applying to a university that accepts less than ten percent of applicants, it would make sense for one to apply to universities of a similar caliber and are just as selective. Provided that the university provides one with the academic, extracurricular, and social atmosphere that one seeks, it makes sense to "take a few chances" because it increases the likelihood that one be accepted. At the end of the day, admissions and scholarships can come down to little metrics that one cannot control and are outside statistical analysis. There is not a formula to guarantee admission to any school or to win a certain scholarship and that is a great thing! This free market type of atmosphere is conducive to allowing one to stretch his or her spheres and discover how wanted one might be. The best thing as well is that in the free market atmosphere of college admissions and scholarship applications, one has relatively nothing to lose and all to gain.
In conclusion, life is a full of risks and in order to be successful, one must be willing and excited to take risks that breed opportunity. Many contemporary leaders had to be courageous and embark on that first campaign, build upon that first start up idea, or challenge that social stigma. So when it comes to those applications don't be afraid to apply to that school of your dreams because with enough hard work, persistence, and careful planning, those dreams will become reality!