Anthropology/Humans Sciences Personal Statement Example

To me it has always seemed odd how we tend to fancy ourselves as the inevitable, accomplished peak of a long chain of imperfect, apelike ancestors. This deterministic claim does not live up to the fascinating and highly unsecure past of Homo sapiens, but only serves our own vanity. At no point in our history it was ensured that we would one day become human. And when it is already difficult to explain what Homo sapiens is, it is even more delicate to define "being human". The key to responding to this question is not by dividing the subject into smaller entities and regarding them all separately, but by combining the disciplines. How can "human" be described only by genetic heritage without regarding the cultural impact and vice versa? Man is neither a blank sheet at his birth nor is his life predestined, but he is a complex composition of both genes and upbringing and wants to be examined carefully in all possible aspects. The joining of social, biological and anthropological views yields a greater amount of knowledge than the different disciplines independently ever could. What I find so appealing about the study of humankind is that it is undergoing a constant evolution on its own. The ongoing debate about how humans evolved, how genes and environment interact and how new discoveries can change the history of humanity- like the Homo naledi, with his contradictory anatomy - keeps the topic alive. I would see the challenge of participating in such a discussion as highly rewarding. The prospect of committing my life to unravelling interdisciplinary human issues where solutions are not waiting at every corner of the path, does not deter me, but excites me deeply. A driving force for me to study the human race was my scientific project for the Matura about Freud and his negative conception of women. Due to my engagement with it I was confronted intensely with the topic of biological inheritance and the influence of societal structures on the individual. While studying Biology, I was particularly interested in genetic mutations, fascinated by how a single wrong base can change the whole genetic information and can thus be an essential impulse for evolution. Because my interest went beyond what I was offered in school, I read a lot on my own. "From Lucy to Language" and "The Diversity of Life" amongst others taught me to be more humble about human existence and the works of Diamond gave me a great insight into human self-destructiveness. Altogether I realised one thing: How can we expect to understand the nature of forthcoming problems when we do not understand ourselves? In class I have always been particularly fond of doing research projects and participating at lively group discussions. This has improved my ability to work on my own as well as my communication skills. For the past two years I have also given private tuition to pupils with learning difficulties with a school project. Besides, last year I was on the committee for the graduation ball, an experience that enhanced my time management and organisational skills hugely. Aside from school, I have been playing the flute for eight years and have regularly played concerts. Following my curiosity for other cultures, I am spending six months as a volunteer in Indonesia during my gap year, tending to street children and assisting lecturers at the nearby university by encouraging the students to speak English. I feel fortunate to have the chance to mingle with a completely different culture and to learn a new language, and thus enhance my understanding of social identity. In the end, the ultimate answer to what "human" means will perhaps forever elude us, but I am convinced that this modern, interdisciplinary approach will contribute greatly to the answering of this question; and will raise even more questions in my mind. I believe in the importance of the solution of humanity's enigmas, for the sake of solving humanity's problems.

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I applied to following universities:
University College London
University of Exeter
University of Durham
University of Kent
University of Bristol
Finally I got offers from all 5 universities which I could hardly believe.


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