English Literature Personal Statement
Since a very young age I have been fascinated by books. In Year Nine I realised my passion for English when an inspiring teacher encouraged me to look at literature from a broader viewpoint. We studied 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee and I was really drawn into the social context and the theme of racism. Through the study of Literature, one is delivered into the complex web of themes, contexts and characterisation. Literature provides an important insight into human nature which is fascinating to study in the contexts of past eras, immortalised in such detail in prose and poetry.
From the words of Ludwig Wittgenstein, 'The limits of my language mean the limits of my world,' I have gained great inspiration. The limits of my language undeniably limit my world, because producing my own works of literature means a great deal to me. I read many of the works of literature that our language has to offer and I would truly love to emulate their success. For several years I have desired to be a novelist and I am working on my first novel. Studying Coleridge's 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and William Blake's poetry, I have become fascinated by the Romantics and this has led me to study many more authors of this period such as Keats and Wordsworth. The ideals and style greatly appeal to me and have been influential in my own poetry. I would like to take my enthusiasm for Literature to the next level to build on my existing skills and improve my writing by increasing my vocabulary and developing my critical style.
My A Levels consist of arts, humanities and science subjects which I chose as a reflection of my academic capabilities and interests. English Language is invaluable because it furthers my understanding of the language and conventions that our native literature is based upon. It allows me to explore social issues in society and apply them to the texts I study and also provides me with a valuable creative outlet. At school I help run the drama club for KS3 and I have contributed to assemblies and masses either by singing or reading. For six years I have performed in the school 'Cabaret' and I sing in both school choirs. A real highlight was when I sang as a soloist in York Minster in front of over 1,000 people.
During the summer in 2007 I volunteered to work with the Creative Writing workshop with YAGTSS. Doing this was a valuable opportunity to pass on my enjoyment for creative writing and poetry to talented young people.
I am a keen dancer and I am working towards Grade 8 Ballet with the RAD. I dance for six hours per week, which includes tap and modern. Ballet is mentally and physically hard work and demands a great deal of discipline and focus to succeed, which is reflected in my work at school. I am determined to work to the best of my abilities in even the smallest of tasks. I have been riding horses since I was seven and have competed with my own horses since I was ten. I am close to my Grade 4 piano exam and an extra GCSE in Italian three hours per week last year has meant that I have had to manage my time carefully. I feel I balance my time between work and leisure well, and my enthusiasm and drive to succeed with English has resulted in rewarding results at AS.
I hope that by expanding the limitations of my own work by studying the theories of English and gaining experience of the many works of literature available to me, I can achieve my ambition of becoming a successful novelist and share my passion for literature with the world.
This personal statement was written by alice.trow for application in 2008.
My personal statement got me interviews at Cambridge, UCL and Warwick, and offers from Durham and St Andrews. I did English Lit, English Language, Geography and General Studies to A2, and Biology AS. I am now at Durham.