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September Series : Writing a Personal Statement

Saturday, 20 September 2014

 
 
That time of year has come around again, where everyone seems to be heading off to different places around the country for university. I imagine many of you are in that group of people, or are at least thinking about it in the future! It is also that time of year where UCAS starts up again for those of you wanting to apply, so todays post is dedicated to an area of the application that can be a bit of a challenge.
Now even mentioning the words 'personal statement' can sound terrifying and daunting, but if you know you will soon have to write one, don't worry! I was so nervous about how it would make me look or even if I was including all the right information, but if you do your research, make loads of drafts and get feedback, it will all be fine. Here are just a few tips from my experience to help you get started!
 
Begin on paper This really helps in the planning stages.
 
Make a list. Of Everything you want to include, and what each paragraph will feature.
 
Spend time of your opening sentence. I cannot stress this enough.

 
In a personal statement your opening sentence is vital, try to make it unique and interesting, or just straight forward. One piece of advice I was repeatedly told was to never begin with "Since the age of ... I've always wanted to study..." or "For a long as I can remember I have loved" because it makes your statement sound very generic. Here is what I used for my first sentence, as I really wanted to communicate my love of literature. I think it is good way to begin if you show enthusiasm for your chosen subject.

Whether being captivated by Lewis Carroll’s vivid, nonsensical fantasy world as a child or intrigued by Sylvia Plath’s compelling narrative voice as a teenager, literature has never failed to engage, fascinate and stimulate my mind, or make me less determined to become a writer.
 
It's also a good idea to look around the internet of personal statement examples, however only take INSPIRATION from these examples as UCAS can track anything you have copied from the internet and then reject your application. Look at these examples to see how to structure your statement, and if you're including the right information.
It's important you include more information other than your school achievements, I included a small paragraph.
 
Through working in a retail shop, a residential care home and babysitting from a young age I have had to communicate with a variety of people, which for me, have been very valuable experiences. They have all helped me increase my confidence in my ability to help others in vastly different circumstances and improve my communication skills, something vital for a working environment. By balancing work and school I have been able to manage my time well which again will be useful in higher education and the future.
 
You want your university to know a bit more about you, such as your determination and work ethic! I wasn't really sure how to end my statement, but I think I good technique is to mention the future, like what you would like to achieve at university etc. I chose to mention my Gap year.
 
I also love to travel and have the desire to see more of the world, which is why I have decided to defer to 2015, and hopefully obtain even more invaluable experiences by travelling and taking a teaching volunteer placement.
 
Everything said in this post of course is only my opinion based on my own experience of writing a personal statement, however I think most this advice can be applicable to many different subject based statements all wanting a place at university!
Hope you found it helpful!

5 comments:

Antonella said...

your blog is amazing girl!

Natalie said...

Uh personal statements, so glad I don't have to think about those anymore! Such a chore, but definitely something worth practising - there are a lot more of those to be written after university!

Natalie | Just a Thought

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Anoushka said...

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Anoushka Probyn - A Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

Rafael Benitez said...

You are now at the forefront of another academic milestone as you plan to pursue advanced studies. Whether you intend to pursue graduate studies in a local school or abroad, you will have to undergo a rigid admission process, which will require you to submit various application documents, foremost of which is the Personal Statement. personal statement writerS