A guide to your personal statement
How time flies, just this time last year I was writing my personal statement and applying to universities…
Knowing where to start with writing it can be daunting, so I have tried to come up with some tips:
Start by making a bullet-pointed list of everything you may want to include (note: being a lunch monitor in year 6 is not relevant…)
This will help you later when you start thinking about your structure.
Relevant things may be:
– Any conferences you have attended
– Relevant events
– Anything you have been involved in: such as NCS, DofE
– Any leadership/teamwork skills you may have held (school responsibilities etc)
– Books/articles you have read
Do remember that some things may be better suited for your teacher(s) reference than your personal statement.
I personally found it helpful to do this in a mind-map format because then I could quickly find links; similar activities, skills etc.
Once you have come up with a list of things to include, start thinking about the structure; you will probably find yourself changing this so many times.
My final structure was:
– Mini introduction introducing why I want to study politics
– Academic books I read, linking them into current affairs
– My A level subjects and how they link into politics
– Relevant politics related to extra-curricular activities
– Work experience
– Final conclusion
Actually writing it
Don’t worry about going over the word limit, you can always cut down later.
Don’t worry about your first and last sentence, I wrote these right at the end!
Once you have a first draft completed, leave your personal statement for a few days and come back to it with a fresh mind – you are more likely to spot mistakes or any changes worth doing.
It is super easy to ask every single person you know to have a read. Only you know yourself best. This is your PERSONAL statement: keep it personal!
Don’t compare yourself to other people’s statements either, they are them and you are you. The whole point is that every statement is different, not the same.
Write WHY you want to study the course you are applying for.
Your ambitions for university are as important as your career goals: Tutors want to hear what you can bring to the university from an academic perspective, tell them that – not just what you want to do afterwards.
Most importantly: As stressful as it can be, enjoy it! This is probably the first time you will have to write such an important piece about yourself, and the skills you get from this will be extremely useful when writing cover letters and your CV.
Good luck, and feel free to ask any questions in the comment box below!
Shanita 🙂 xo