English Literature & Creative Writing Personal Statement

'You have the potential to become a fantastic author one day', I remember my headteacher saying, these words reinforcing my desire to explore the affinity for English gained through my extensive and voracious reading as a child.

Throughout High School my hobby of story and poem writing reflected my interest in becoming an author. This lead me to enter the 2007 Towerpoetry competition and a Comprehensive Writing course with the Writers' Bureau. My annual participation in ATE (Active Training and Education) Superweeks during the summer - as well as initiating my hobbies of rock climbing and hill walking - incorporated creative writing into a social environment away from home, which I expect may resemble university life and which I particularly relished.

The achievement of 5 A*s at GCSE was an enormous boost for me regarding the potential I possessed which could only find expression through the opportunity of education and encouragement of my teachers, particularly my study of English and its intricate methods of communication.

My current A-level studies of English Literature and Fine Art reflect my interest in different modes of expression as they both portray an idea or concept in forms to be shared and learnt from, whether through Duffy's poetic language or Jenny Saville's controversial paintings. The evolution of human expression revealed within the time periods of both subjects interests me, and I personally love to paint in my spare time as a creative outlet.

English Literature has equipped me with the means of identifying concepts I knew the meaning of or had experienced but had no words to describe, such as the nostalgia and idealism featured in Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' and J.D Salinger's 'Catcher in the Rye'. I also identified with the scenario presented in Ian McEwan's 'Cement Garden', of a family's detachment from 'normal' society leading to an 'abnormal' way of life within the family unit. Themes of decadence and aestheticism featured in Wilde's 'Picture of Dorian Gray' had significance for me as they reflect the misguided thought of hedonism with no consequences which I have observed, but also promote the idea of free individual expression without restriction, an admirable theme.

A possible use of an English degree would be to train as a counselor or teacher, helping to overcome barriers in communication- both others', and mine. Accepting the request from my High School to return after my GCSEs to tutor English to students gave me a teaching experience, as did my work placement at Livingstone primary school in Mossley village. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of contributing to the pupils as people, and helping to expand their knowledge and horizons - giving them the benefits and opportunities for progress afforded me by my teachers in the past, which I have taken advantage of and look forward to receiving during this degree.

Within school, I took on the responsibilities entailed in the role of prefect and attained full marks in my English coursework folder whilst also coping with the complications posed by family circumstances; by looking after my mother I learned responsibility young, while coping with other problems at home has familiarized me with stressful situations and taught me to cope under pressure. The continual contradictions between education and my home experiences have enabled me to be extremely open-minded as I can comprehend many different perceptions of an issue, and make informed judgements upon my own opinion.

Though it is a feat unattempted by family or friends, I believe that I am ready for the challenge, to break free of restrictions and seek possibilities. As an inquisitive and creative individual, the communication and expression inherent in this intriguing subject are the means for me to achieve my potential.

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This personal statement was written by archerdana for application in 2009.

archerdana's Comments

I've gotten all my replies back quite quickly, so it must be some good :)
Conditional offers from Sheffield uni, Manchester uni, Lancaster uni, Birmingham and Leeds, yay! Gotta get 2 As and a B tho....

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