I am about to share my personal story on how a wrong step I took made my life now so miserable. This step was about taking on a bonded scholarship before I started my university life in NUS.
Like many other students who have just completed their A levels, I began applying for university placings and scholarships too. The young me then thought: a scholarship will provide for my tuition fees, monthly allowances and even sponsor for overseas programs! How nice! So I applied for many scholarships and ended up accepting one from a stat board for a particular course.
When I started school, I quickly realised the course I had previously chosen wasn’t my cup of tea. I applied to change my course and was lucky enough to get accepted into the course I wanted. The scholarship provider also agreed since the new course was applicable to their organisation scope too. At this point in time, I was still new and did not think much of the scholarship terms.
During my 4 years in NUS, I admit I have thoroughly enjoyed my studies. I got together with an amazing girl who was supportive, kind and literally someone who I could confide in very naturally. She was fun to be around with, comforting when I’m down, supportive when I’m stressed and loving at all times. However, as the years passed, the scholarship terms was creeping up at the back of my mind, yet I did not address it, choosing to delay it.
Don’t get me wrong. I am very appreciative of the money I have received so far, the internship opportunities etc. It has allowed me to go for overseas programs without any financial worries. But now as I officially completed my 4 years of education and about to enter the bonded terms, I can’t help to feel miserable.
Why miserable you might think. In the 4 years, I realised what I am interested in isn’t really what the organisation is doing. The foolish me back then was too short sighted, focusing more on the monetary gains. If I could turn back the clock, I would definitely have not accepted it. While I am able to enjoy employment now, my heart is heavy everytime I wake up. There is no motivation, drive or passion for my work. I can’t help but feel envy at my friends who are receiving lower salaries but enjoying their jobs, jobs that I would have enjoyed too even if it pays less.
My bond is 4 years long with a value in the low 6 digits. I calculated that if I were to break the bond, my effective loss will be around 30k. I did not touch a single cent of the allowance as I tutored while studying which provided me with income. Other expenses like school fees and overseas program fees are incurred regardless of whether I am on a scholarship or not. The loss is mainly due to the compounded interest charged. My plan now is to start work for them but to reassess my strategies and long term plan. Perhaps I will work for 6 months to a year before deciding, so the income earned can be used as a buffer.
Because of this scholarship I have enjoyed many things. Yet I have missed out so much more. Really feel like crying at times.