English and Philosophy Personal Statement

English has always been at the forefront of my mind, whether it be writing storybooks as a child, play-writing as a teen, or analysing literature at A Level. I enjoy the thrill of writing creatively but equally enjoy composing non-literary pieces where I can put across my views, inform or debate.

I frequently read beyond set texts, my favourite authors including modern writers Stephen King and Dean Koontz, as well as more canonical writers such as Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare. It fascinates me how an author uses particular techniques and language to create specific effects for readers.

Poetry inspires me emotionally, and I enjoy exploring the religious and political factors that have had a strong influence on the poet. I take pleasure in reading Thomas Gray's sharp wit and humour, whilst also enjoying the more emotive stance of poets such as Thomas Hardy.

I am eager to learn literature from time periods I have not yet studied, especially the Renaissance and Enlightenment; I am intrigued as to how and why English has developed over time, and what contextual factors have had an effect on this.

I believe the study of Philosophy is an asset to anyone with an iota of interest in the world we live in. I have an inquisitive and philosophical mind which compels me to discuss and debate topical issues; whether political, empirical, ancient or present-day.

I find the theories of philosophers fascinating; they have influenced me to take an open minded approach to life, notably Aristotle's theory of moral ethics, Croce's stance on intuition and art, and Mill's view on autonomy and equality.

I look forward to studying new theories, especially metaphysics, in greater depth. In the Philosophy A Level I have particularly enjoyed the exam essays, where I could argue a balanced debate whilst instilling my own opinions. I find the studies of Philosophy and English complement one another perfectly, in that the former provokes critical thinking and discussion which is vital when exploring historical and contextual factors in the latter.

I am interested in a career in Journalism; I have a thirst for knowledge and love to express my opinions and thoughts on whatever the subject may be. In 2007 I was chosen as part of a school team helping to write a newspaper for a national competition. Over the next year I plan to gain experience from my local Newspaper and through various writing competitions.

My extra-curricular activity is music; I love playing the piano and learning pieces from a range of genres. I have played in several concerts and am looking forward to performing at University.

Chosen by my college to participate in the YASS scheme, in October 2009 I began a 10 point 'Start Writing Fiction' course with the Open University. I found it a great opportunity to study at degree level and, despite requiring high levels of independence, a hugely rewarding experience.

I also plan to write a philosophical dissertation for the Extended Project as I have a strong interest in research and believe this will be good preparation for University.

Obtaining unexpected grades in summer 2009 was, oddly, the best outcome I could have had; without it, I would be a miserable Chemistry student at University. Having being predicted high grades I was shocked to see my results, but saw the situation as an opportunity to take a new path and new A Levels.

Subsequently my grades this year were successful, despite living independently due to my parents moving overseas to work. Through this tough experience I have matured, learnt how to cope with life situations and feel prepared for the responsibilities that are ahead of me. I am confident that I will achieve at University.

Description: 
Overall I was not entirely happy with my personal statement. My writing is usually quirky and displays my personality somewhat; however, because I obtained less-than-perfect grades in my first year due to personal problems at home, thus changing my A Levels halfway through college, I felt it would be a tad risky. Ergo my statement is fairly 'neutral' and not overly exciting. However, I managed to scoop four of my five offers. After pestering Durham as to why I was unsuccessful, they said my GCSEs were not high enough in comparison to other applicants.
Year applied: 
2010
Subject: 
English
Philosophy

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