Biological Sciences Personal Statement
It all started with the dinosaurs. Like many children, I was fascinated by them. Unlike many children however, I was not content with just knowing their names. I wanted to learn more about their behaviour, form and function, habitats, and evolution. I wanted to know how scientists determine how old fossils are. My curiosity did not fade, but instead blossomed into a hunger for knowledge about all living things. During my childhood travels, I came to experience what I had only seen in books and documentaries. I was overjoyed to see large flying foxes in Malaysia and coatis in Mexico.
As my literacy skills advanced, I discovered authors such as Frans de Waal and Oliver Sacks. Bill Bryson's especially memorable "A Short History of Nearly Everything" introduced me to many amazing oddities that exist in the universe, such as bacteria that have evolved to live only in sulfuric acid. I find all branches of biology continuously captivating and would like to explore different specialisations before deciding on a niche. Evolution, particularly of animals, perks my interest; I was amazed to learn how almost all traits of living organisms can be explained as a way to increase biological fitness. A fantastic example of this is in "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins, about a species of cicada that only matures after a prime number of years to prevent predators from syncing with their life cycles.
I also enjoy practical work on microbiology. In school, I always looked forward to lab sessions in which, amongst other things, we use microscopes to create biological diagrams of various specimens and analyzing them both qualitatively and quantitatively. I hope to learn more about scientific techniques in university such as DNA profiling and molecular cloning. While writing an in-depth independent research paper on Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, I read a variety of peer-reviewed journals. The depth and detail of these papers were astounding and I found it humbling to experience biology as practiced at a higher level. I attended several university introductory seminars hosted by prominent biologists, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, covering a multitude of subjects in biology. It was reassuring to know the vast array of global opportunities in the field: from ethology to food engineering to biomedicine.
To challenge and complement my learning in the classroom, I have competed in several national and international math and biology competitions throughout high school, frequently ranking within the top 5 of my school. I am currently participating in the Ontario Health Science Competition for veterinary sciences to explore areas in biology beyond the school curriculum. Skills I have developed through my extracurricular activities transfer well to a degree and career in biology. In playing the piano since the age of 7, I have been honing my perseverance, concentration, and cognitive abilities. As a percussionist in the school band and orchestra, I have learnt the importance of precision, teamwork, and interdependent thinking.
Additionally, being an elected member of my school's music council, a camp counsellor at the York University Science Engagement Program, and a certified ski instructor has refined my leadership and communication skills. I trust that my grades and reference speak for my diligence and ability to succeed at a top-ranked university. My parents, both UK graduates, often speak of the value of a British degree. If granted the privilege to further cultivate my interest and passion for science at your university, I believe I will be well-positioned to contribute to advances in biology in the future.
I'm from Canada btw. I got into UCL, Imperial, Bristol, and Warwick all for biology. Rejected from Imperial for ecology.