Dreams will remain as dreams if you don’t chase them through hard work, perseverance and confidence. This is what Ky Mengly believes in, and this belief has earned him a slot in the 2018 Global Undergraduate Exchange Programme (Global UGRAD).
Mengly, 25, is a fresh graduate from the Department of International Studies majoring in International Relations. He is also currently in his sophomore year in Media Management at the Department of Media and Communications.
This fall, he will be flying to the US for a semester scholarship along with four other Cambodian students who passed the UGRAD programme. UGRAD is an exchange scholarship programme given to outstanding undergraduate students from around the world for non-degree full-time study in US schools.
Mengly, with his innate passion for journalism and communications, will be taking up Journalism at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
However, this great achievement didn’t come easy for Mengly. He faced so many struggles and failures before finally getting his dream scholarship.
“Before becoming a successful scholarship candidate , I went through a lot of painful experiences filled with failures,” Mengly said.
In 2013, when he was still in his first year in International Relations, Mengly applied for for scholarship programmes. He failed to qualify.
“I was somehow frustrated that I didn’t pass and those who just applied got selected. It made me feel that something was lacking in me. After that, I took the frustration as a challenge. Without those failures, I will not be able to be who I am today.”
Instead of getting stuck into his defeat, Mengly pushed himself to be better, academically and personally. He set clearer and bigger goals – to get the semester exchange scholarship, experience independence in the US, to be in a new learning environment, to pave the right career path, and to prove that he can rise from his previous downfall. And he strived real hard to achieve them all.
“For now, my life is a bit purposeless. But through this programme, when I come back, I will know what my purpose really is.”
Mengly said he gets his strength and motivation from his childhood memories. He shared that when he achieved something at school during his early years, he felt happy and proud. Now that he has grown, he wants to feel the same bliss every time he overcomes obstacles.
“I am not a very expressive person, so I prove things to people through my action. If I truly love something, I chase it until I get it,” said Mengly, adding that he used his timidity to silently move forward towards his goals. Letting his success make the noise, that is.
Mengly strongly believes that he is not the only person who has experienced the same failures and struggles on their journey towards achieving their goals in life. But he said, as long as one knows what he or she truly wants and is willing to work hard for it, every goal will be achieved. He also stressed that for people like him who dream to get scholarships to study abroad, not giving up is the main key. Not passing on the first try should not be considered a hindrance and should not be the reason to get too depressed.
“It’s okay to get depressed, to get sad about it. But don’t stay in that sadness for too long. Get out fast and build a better version of yourself.
“When you are sure of what you want, don’t give up. The process is going to be painful and depressing but just keep fighting for what you believe. If you think you really deserve that scholarship, keep applying for it.”
More importantly, he wants people to reflect upon themselves every time they triumph and most especially during failures. Doing such will let one realise and understand what went right and what went wrong. It’s also a way of discovering how far one has come.
“You have to look back and see what you did wrong or what you did right; how your surrounding sees you as a person. Reflect and take action and at the same time, correct that past action. I believe through all of this, you keep getting better.