BA Archaeology (mature student)

My main goal in life is to have a career that I enjoy, and that inspires me, in the hope that one day I can use my passion to inspire others. I have not always known that I wanted to be an archaeologist, but in one way or another, the decisions I have made on my journey have led me to where I am now, and I could not be more excited for what my future holds.

In recent years I have been working in management in hospitality settings, and while this taught me countless transferrable skills, I always felt I wanted to do something more with my life. Throughout school, I was shy and quiet, and I lacked confidence in myself to be able to do well. I left school clueless as to what I wanted to do with my life. I went on to study Adult Nursing, completing one and a half years of the course, never feeling content that this was a career path that I wanted, and so I made the decision to leave. It was only last year, when my partner and I were fortunate enough to go travelling for five months in Central and South America, that I began to notice things that grasped my attention.

Whilst travelling, I saw many great archaeological sites, my favourites being the site of Copán in Honduras, and Calakmul in Mexico. I was captivated and spent most evenings watching documentaries and interviews with people that worked at these sites. In watching these, I realised that I would enjoy excavating at an archaeological site and unfolding the story of what had once been there, and so I applied for college. We had planned to travel longer, but we decided to return home early due to the pandemic. Returning just days before the lockdown was very different from the life I had been living. However, it gave me a unique opportunity to use the time to educate myself further by reading and doing online courses. Now, I look forward to getting the 'hands-on' experience. For me, there is something incredible about being the first person to lay eyes on an object in hundreds or even thousands of years.

In the five years since I left school, I have grown in confidence as well as maturity. My experiences in work and life have allowed me to develop invaluable skills. My time as a manager has aided me in being able to not only lead a team but also work as part of one. In 2018 I did a module with the Open University in human biology. At the time, I worked full time, and so it taught me valuable lessons in time management by learning to prioritise tasks and keep up to date with my commitments. The hours I worked were long, but I was determined to prove to myself that I was capable of studying independently. I completed the module with a grade 2 pass, a result that delighted me. This grade was the confidence boost I needed that set the foundations for where I am now.

At college, I was nominated class representative, and having completed my training, and I am continuing to build on my current skills, but also work on new ones. For example, in the past, I have been anxious about speaking in large groups, but being a class representative has helped me to move forward from this. I have also joined digital strategy groups, allowing me to take part in assisting the college in creating the best digital learning experience. I felt compelled to do this after listening to class members admit how difficult they are finding online learning.

The emotional journey I have been on to realise my passion has been longer than it is for others, however now that I have reached this point, I am more determined than ever to achieve my goal. Not everyone gets the opportunity to fulfil their dreams, but I hope I accomplish that privilege.

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Author's Comments

Hi there, this is my personal statement. I am 24 years old and currently studying at a further education college in Scotland.

Universities applied to:

- University College London (Archaeology & Anthropology) - offer received
- University of York (Archaeology) - offer received
- University of Glasgow (Archaeology) - offer received
- University of St Andrews (FE HE Pathway to Arts) - rejection
- University of Edinburgh (Architectural history & Archaeology) - awaiting decision

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