Personal Statement

For entry into British Universities, you have to fill in a standard application form for UCAS, who then pass this on to all of your chosen universites. For many prospective students, the most daunting part of this form is the “Personal Statement”, where, in a limited amount of space, you must “sell yourself” to the universities to which you are applying. This was my attempt, before deciding to take “a few years out” first. (I was planning to study either English Literature or English Literature and Language.)

“You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free” – John 8 v32.

I have enjoyed English lessons for as long as I can remember, particularly enjoying the literature aspect. I particularly enjoyed studying “Knowledge of Angels” by Gill Paton Walsh, because of the theological aspects of the book. I haven’t a clue what to do for a career, and chose my A-level subjects and University courses purely because they are subjects I enjoy, but I made a bit of a mistake doing maths as an AS, as it was deadly boring and very hard.

I also took part in Young Enterprise in year 12, as the deputy marketing director, which gave me the opportunity to practice arguing. I stood as a candidate in a mock election, which helped me experience rejection (yes, I failed miserably to get any votes). Young Engineers and the Engineering Education Scheme tried and failed to convince me to go into engineering but did teach me how to do a lot of work in a short time and under pressure. Eating is my favourite hobby, so I took part in the senior cookery competition in year 12. We (a team of three) cooked a disgusting carrot and coriander soup, a stodgy sponge cake, and something with meat in I wouldn’t eat because I’m a vegetarian.

I have participated in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme – I have achieved Bronze and Silver Awards, and am working towards Gold. This has developed my teamwork skills and initiative. I am interested in web design in my spare time, and [had] three websites of my own ([then] listed at, and have built one for one of the churches I attend. Getting involved with church activities has increased my social skills and given me an introduction to sound engineering/mixing, among other things. Reading is another activity I enjoy in my spare time, and have recently read Pat Barker’s “Regeneration Trilogy”, “Captain Correlli’s Mandolin” by Louis De Bernières, and “Novell’s Certified Web Designer Study Guide” by Jim Bowers.

I often go to folk festivals in the holidays, where I can extend my appreciation of traditional culture, and practice looking a fool. My more than average faith in the British public transport system shows perseverance.

I rejected some of the “opportunities” forced upon all VI form students at my school such as work experience and community service. I rejected work experience because I did not have a career in mind to get experience of. I rejected community service because it was hypocritical – it had to be done without reward expected or received, but the certificate the school gave for doing it was a reward in itself. However, my rejection of the school’s version of community service was not a rejection of community service in general. Community service plays a part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and have helped at church events and services, as well as being on the publicity committee and being the website designer for one church. I have also recently started helping at a local charity shop for a children’s hospice. The local youth club has in the last four years won the Alan Dean trophy (for Youth gardens) every time, and refurbished a cellar to move the club into – I have helped with both of these.

I hope if nothing else, I make someone, somewhere, smile.