27th September 15
In the first year of baccalaureate, the Head of Baccalaureate informed me and three of my colleagues, that the four of us were going to be put forward for a scholarship called ‘Becas Europa’ as students with the highest grades in our respective baccalaureate modalities. In my case the scientific-technical modality.
I immediately thought that I had nothing to do, since from the outset, my grade was considerably lower than the rest of my classmates. What I did not know was that it was not like the rest of the scholarships offered by the government. This was a scholarship which sought beyond an expedient of ten.
I looked into it and found out more about this so-called “European Scholarship” (Beca Europa). It is a program rather than a scholarship (consisting of a twenty day trip through the key points of university in Europe). It was created as an initiative by the University of Francisco de Vitoria (Madrid) in conjunction with the bank, Santander, which seeks to promote a spirit of enthusiasm and interest among Spanish pre-university students.
To obtain it, it is necessary to pass a series of tests that filters out the student profile that they are looking for, namely someone not only with the desire to learn, but also to go beyond themselves. To complicate your life (as we repeated so many times along the trip). People who are willing to live the university experience as something more than an ordeal of exams and hours of study in the library.
University, as it is presented to us (and very well presented from my point of view), has to be the most intense period of our lives. We should be interested in going beyond what is presented in an obvious manner, we have to look for and find the very core of life. University life. To Live it in all its fullness.
During this particular trip, we visited the cities of Alcala de Henares, Bologna, Rome, the Vatican, London, Oxford, Paris, Heidelberg and Madrid. From each of them we learned a different lesson, each one ever more interesting. Some of these lessons come to make you rethink many issues, about which you thought your ideas were already firmly entrenched.
It is a very beautiful and above all very productive trip, in which you learn a lot of things that you thought you already knew and other things that you had no idea about. You get to know a lot of people who are very different to yourselves, and from whom you always have something which you are able to learn. Indeed it is a hard journey, with very few hours of sleep, many conferences and work sessions, very little leisure time … But it’s a journey which searches for what you are after, awakening in each of us an attitude of making effort and a taste for doing, of doing things, of being active, of moving on, and of getting interested.
The scholarship led me to all the great people who I met, but above all to a very important lesson: You have to be authentic, you have to be free from the prejudices which enclose our minds, you have to learn that each topic can be approached from different perspectives and that any one of them is more or less valid than any other, you have to work, you have to always be the best version of yourself. But this is not possible without people around you, your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. You create bonds with them and the more you get to know them, the stronger those bonds become, and the more life is worth being lived because you feel fuller and this is when you start to really enjoy life.
I highly recommend, to all those who have the opportunity of putting themselves forward for these European scholarships (Becas Europa) doing your best to be able to live such a wonderful experience. But I also encourage everyone, without exception, to take some time to reflect on this, whoever wants university life to be for them. Because in order to ask yourselves everything which is proposed to us in the European scholarships (Becas Europa), it is not necessary to go travelling around Europe and earning a scholarship or to be anyone in particular is not required. You only have to propose it to yourselves.