One of the best pieces of advice I've come across is always try for things. You never know what you can accomplish if you don't put your hat into the ring.
My name is Dominick, and I'm a PhD student in the School of Information Technologies. Seven months ago I submitted an application for a scholarship - almost on a whim. There wasn't much planning involved - my supervisor had suggested it as a good idea, and I thought, why not? The bulk of the application only took a week to write.
Fast forward. Just last week, I was named as one of 25 Fulbright Scholars from Australia for 2012. Fulbright is up there with Rhodes as one of the most prestigious international scholarship programs, awarding 6,000 scholarships a year for exchange to and from the United States. Thanks to the scholarship I'm about to embark on a new adventure to the University of California at Berkeley for eight months. I'll get to interact with some of the brightest and most motivated people in the world in the heartland of technology. I'll get to see and live in a new country, broadening my appreciation for the world and its diversity. It's a euphoric feeling.
Opportunities rarely fall into our laps (though it's certainly nice when they do). You have to work for them, and put your hand up. Write the applications, take advantage of the offers. Who knows - maybe you will be the next Fulbright Scholar.