Monday, 18 July 2011

A Personal Statment about Personal Statments

Throughout these past few weeks my teachers have been talking about Personal Statements that are to be sent off to the university of your choice to try to get a place at that universe.
Throughout this time people have been talking about what to put on your personal statement and what you can say to get accepted. Yet all the statements that I have read have basically said the exact same thing just in slightly different ways.
This made me think of how do people stand out when it comes to personal statements?
We have also been having talks about people going on gap years and how that has helped them get in to university. Yet none of them talk about how it has helped them as a person and how the gap year has changed them.
These were selfless, brave people who went to Africa and build schools and taught at them once they had finished and yet none of them mentioned how that changed them as a person.
I feel through the past few weeks that everything we have been doing is to jump through hoops and the teachers haven’t given much consideration about how a gap year or other volunteer work may change you as a person not just help you have a push in the door for university.
I find this strange because if your sole motivation is to just get in to university and nothing else then your life will be forever about you career, this is fine for some people but not for me.
If your motivations for charity work are just for something to write on a form then you won’t get that much out of it.
I do a student leadership program and I do it not for something to put on my personal statement but because I think that I will personally get something out of it that will help me grow as a person, but if my motivations were different then I don’t think I would get as much out of it.
I do the things in my life because I want to do them not because of other factors and if they are for ulterior motives then I wouldn’t think that what I am doing is a good use of my time because I wouldn’t be getting much out of things.
I’m sure that the people who came in to speak to us were changed by their experiences but it would have been much better to hear about that than how they learnt about team work and how that fact got them in to university.
So when writing my personal statement I won’t say that being in a leadership program has helped me learn to lead people and work as a team, I’ll talk about how I have seen people grow to be more mature adults through the time that I have been with them.
That to me is more interesting that I think I have helped or inspired someone’s life than I have learnt team working skills.

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