Doubting my excellence

Kristian Richings was awarded an Excellence Scholarship for Current Students in 2013 in recognition of his dedication to volunteering.

A BSc (Hons) Psychology student at Edge Hill University, Kristian is extremely passionate about volunteering, devoting eight hours a week to spending his time as a counsellor with the NSPCC, as an Assistant Teacher with his local jujitsu group, and fundraising for various charities including Children In Need and Macmillan Cancer Research.

We caught up with Kristian to discuss his experience of being awarded a scholarship, where Kristian revealed that he had significant doubts as to whether his voluntary and charity work would merit an award.

“At first glance, I didn’t think I was deserving of a scholarship. I remember re-reading and re-writing some of the sections of the application form, panicking over whether my answers were good enough. I thought that scholarships were only a thing for recognising academic excellence or rewarding selfless individuals who had spent years volunteering for lots of charities. However, I was persuaded to apply by my friends and I’m very glad that I did.

To me, volunteering is natural. As a student, rather than donate money to charitable causes, I try to donate my time and energy to them instead. It’s an incredibly enriching way to spend my free time. As well as gaining great satisfaction from helping others, I also get the chance to meet some amazing people and gain some invaluable experiences.

The Excellence Scholarship has helped me a lot. I have been inspired by the people I have met during the process (and at the award ceremony) to continue with my volunteering despite an increased workload in the second year of my degree. It has meant that I am able to continue volunteering as well as devoting more time to my studies and less to paid work as a result of the scholarship award money.

From doubting my ‘excellence’, I am glad I applied for a scholarship, so if you are doubting your own achievements, all I can say is believe in yourself and submit an application, who knows what the outcome might be!”