Biology Personal Statement
Outside was always my favourite place as a child, splashing in puddles, inspecting insects under magnifying glasses and having snail races with my brothers. The living world fascinated me. My enthusiasm has only increased over the years and living by the sea has inspired me further. I am always amazed each time I walk my dog on the beach how the marram grass can survive such hostile conditions and how the biodiversity increases the further inland you get. Studying Biology has improved my understanding and also made me keen to continue this discovery at university.
I have enjoyed developing a better understanding of the scientific basis of disease. Learning about protein structures and how point mutations in DNA result in malfunctioning proteins which cause disorders such as sickle cell anaemia was particularly interesting. I have taken part in a Treatment of Diabetes Workshop at Bristol University where I enjoyed learning about the autoimmune nature of type 1 diabetes and undertook my own diagnosis from blood and urine samples in the labs.
Taking three sciences has highlighted to me how closely linked these subjects are and given me a deeper understanding of the principles underpinning Biology. I particularly enjoyed my Chemistry course work on calculating the activation enthalpy of the reaction between Luminol and Hydrogen Peroxide where I personally had to devise the experiments to calculate the activation enthalpy, improving my lab techniques and teaching me how to solve problems that occur when conducting an untested experiment. I keep up to date with current research and topics, such as the debate around badger culling as a way to decrease the spread of bovine TB. This inspired me to do an Extended Project looking at the scientific evidence behind badger culling and alternative proposals to reduce the spread of TB in cattle. I looked at the science behind the bacterium, badger behaviour and ecology and also ethical arguments. This also made me interested in other ethical issues within science such as the debates on GM crops and stem cell research. Both these projects have given me valuable independent research and presentation skills. Developing my time management, and helping me become a more able and independent student.
Volunteering at Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre for over a year gave me experience in handling and caring for a wide variety of sick and injured animals giving me an insight into how conservation biology is used in the real world. I had to clean cages and prepare enclosures similar to their natural habitat to stimulate natural behaviour to aid successful release into the wild. For example: using branches for birds to perch on; putting fish in water to encourage herring gulls to fish for food and picking fresh berries and food readily available outside for squirrels, rabbits and dormice.
During Sixth Form I took all opportunities to become involved in the school community, helping at Science Club and being a member of the School Committee. I was also a peer mentor working with children with additional requirements which taught me to listen and show compassion towards others. I have been a young leader at my local Brownie Unit since I was fourteen and was recently awarded my Adult Leadership Qualification in guiding which required a lot of organisation and dedication to complete. This year I am running a Brownie Unit alongside another leader, as I have demonstrated excellent team work to plan and run the weekly unit meetings. I am a keen swimmer and trained as a rookie life guard, giving me skills in first aid, responding positively in a crisis and being calm under pressure.
I am taking a gap year to gain experience in the working world and to save money to ease the financial pressure of student life. I am looking forward to returning to an education environment and the additional challenges University will bring.