Ancient History Personal Statement Example 2
People ask me why I wish to study Ancient History. Surely it has no relevance to today's world? Absolutely not! It is difficult doing justice to the incredible achievements of the greats of the Ancient World such as Pyrrhus, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Augustus and Caesar. It is not only the characters that interest me but the entire backdrop against which their achievements took place. I am also fascinated by contributions of the Greeks' to science and philosophy, the political intrigues of the Roman Republic and the ingenuity of the statesmen, tyrants and generals who continue to inspire today. Parallels can be drawn between the Roman Empire and the EU: the single currency, attempts to unite a continent made up of different nationalities with varying cultures and conflicting beliefs. The Romans achieved it in a way that may take the EU decades to match.
My interest in the Ancient World began at Primary school where I thoroughly enjoyed the lessons on the Egyptians and Romans. The strategy game 'Age of Empires' really got me interested in the subject and I have been hooked ever since. I have been excited to be able to pick my own topic for a personal assignment for History at A2. At first I chose to write about Hannibal (his sheer single mindedness and his crossing of the Alps despite the logistical and technological restrictions of the time is awe-inspiring), but eventually I decided to investigate the fall of Carthage and how it allowed Rome to assert its dominance over the Mediterranean and eventually the world. As you can see, I have been fascinated by Ancient History for some time and it continues to enthral me every time I pick up a new book on the subject.
While at secondary school, I have had numerous responsibilities including sitting on the school councils. Currently I am an active member of the 6th Form Committee. I was made a prefect and was almost voted "Most likely to be Prime Minster" by my peers. I maintain that I won since the person who secured this award was also in charge of counting the votes and I could not find anyone who voted for him. I remain philosophical about this political intrigue and corruption were harsh realities in roman political life. While In the sixth form, I have helped teachers in history lessons, particularly with assisting children who have difficulties with the subject. I find this supremely satisfying. Studying Sociology A-level at a different school has taught me time management.
Working at my local Sainsbury's has given me a great deal of patience. It has also developed my interpersonal skills; I have found it has made me friendlier in general and more understanding and aware of people's needs when dealing with customers and training new recruits. My sense of responsibility has increased due to the large amount of money I handle.
Outside of school, I spent 8 years in the scouting movement. Tasks were often tough, e.g. long hikes in typically unpredictable British weather, but I learnt a lot about teamwork and self-sufficiency. My hobbies include reading (I enjoy the books of Adrian Goldsworthy and historical novels such as Simon Scarrow's "Eagle" series), theatre, cinema and kickboxing where I am undertaking a leadership course and working through the grades with the goal of becoming a 'black belt'.
I am looking forward to university immensely on a number of levels. Most importantly, it will give me an opportunity to not only extend my own knowledge of the Ancient World beyond my current understanding, gained through self-study, but also provide an environment in which I can discuss the events and issues of these times with people who share similar interests and understandings of it.
I hope to continue my interest in Ancient History post university. However, I am confident that the experience and knowledge I will gain will provide me with a good portfolio of skills to open up a number of opportunities.
This personal statement was written by Shinobi for application in 2007.
Took me a while to get round to writing it. The Head of Sixth Form at my school said it was the best statement she'd read and when I went for an interview at Royal Holloway the interviewer said he wasn't going to ask me about it because he said it was persuasive.
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