The Scholarship Competition is a Con, by @EytanDGSmith

Eytan Smith

By Eytan Smith


The scholarship competition is a fucking con

We all pay for SCA. Every last one of us.

Sure, some of us may skip paying a few grand, but we all pay one way or the other.

There are some currencies worth more than money, like your emotions, time and energy. These are the currencies SCA want the most.

On interview days, prospective students sit there on that stage and ask us about the price. I always squirm in my seat when I hear those questions; not because they’re inappropriate or because I don’t like talking about money, but because I’ve felt there was an unknown bigger question left unsaid. I think I’ve finally cracked the pink elephant.
“How much does SCA cost you?” Full stop.

Well, we pay in emotions.

Every tear, every cry for joy: you’ll need to pay SCA.

You will value your creativity, your skills, your talent, your efforts, your intelligence and your very self on the judgement you receive from SCA.

Everything outside will pale in comparison. Romance will cheapen; I had to ‘cash in’ dating a beautiful, charming, sexy and successful man. He was a distraction I couldn’t afford.

You won’t get the same joy out of small pleasures like you used to; TV, booze and mindless books will all seem like a waste of time.

Yes, we all pay for SCA.

Next, we pay in time.

Your friends will start to fade.

You’ll have a limited budget and they’re probably the first on the list to go. Their invitations will stop coming and the rare times you do attend will mostly consist of you catching up on their lives while they pretend to understand yours.

Anyway, you’ll probably mostly talk about Marc.

Depending on whether you’ll live at home or not, your family will contribute to your debt.

Yeah financially, but they’ll also have to go without your company at family events, birthdays, Sunday meals and most other times you should be spending together.

Even they pay for SCA.

But that’s not all, we pay in energy.

The effort and focus you must deliver are greater than you can probably afford.

Having to learn new tricks at 3am will become customary. Imagining up entire campaigns that hold a solution to not only a brand’s but also an entire audience’s problem will become your daily task. The unconscious thoughts you have on the tube home no longer belong to you, they are owed to your brief from SCA.

We all pay for SCA.

Here’s the twist: SCA is an investment in yourself.

All proceeds go to you.

Sometimes they may feel like they are owed to Marc.

He demands the payment, he relishes your contributions and tells you when you’ve fallen short.

But really, you don’t pay Marc shit.

Marc, Hannah, Honor, Clare and every mentor that walks through those double doors: they’re all investing in you too. The ‘You’ fund. The most valuable fund you’ll ever have, and it will cost you.
Maybe it will cost you more than anything has ever cost you before.

I don’t know if you’re a father, ex-spy or some other costly commitment I haven’t experienced. But as an ex-Israeli army soldier, university student and charity director, I’ve never paid such a high price for anything.

For me, it’s been worth it; I am creative and I want to be influential, SCA has helped me with both.

If you’re sure of your reasons, however basic, it will be worth it for you too.

Just make sure you run towards this experience screaming “Fuck yes, I know I want this” because otherwise you won’t make your payments.
So like I’ve said, we all pay for SCA, but do you have the funds for it?

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