English Personal Statement
Ever since reading Harper Lee's “To Kill a Mockingbird” at GCSE there has no been no doubt in my mind that I want to delve deeper into the study of literature.
I was greatly moved by Lee's themes of innocence and prejudice and felt if this one novel could make such a difference to the way I perceived the world there must be many more out there waiting to be read. Since then I have developed an admiration for many novelists such as Dickens to modern writers such as Chris Manby, Bill Bryson and J.K Rowling.
This love of literature stimulated my own attempts at creative writing and I recently joined an extra-curricular creative writing class which is gradually improving my own work. The class involves sharing work and giving constructive feedback to my peers and this kind of group activity is something I take pleasure in and hope to continue in university.
I also read literary journals, like 3AM Magazine, which I use to inspire my own writing.
I know that an English course will be very demanding but I feel that I have already experienced that kind of pressure on a two week work experience placement in a local Gazette office where I practised tight deadlines and learned the importance of attention to detail by having two articles published.
I have also taken part in the college magazine where I submitted an interview with a local band and I would be keen to participate in something similar at university as it gave me a taste for writing for an audience.
When it came to choosing my A level courses it felt natural to pick both English literature and English language. I am fascinated by both areas of the subject and feel they compliment each other well, as when we read literature we are reading the English language.
Doing both courses has refined my love of English into a more analytical approach. Literature has allowed me to discuss other people's opinions and interpretations of various texts while language has provided me with the tools to explore my own ideas of literature further. I'm also fascinated by accents, dialects and the acquisition of language itself and this is definitely something I wish to continue learning about in the future as in my opinion it is an important basis for anyone studying the English language.
Studying law at A level has enabled me to work independently; researching cases and reporting facts. Before I began sixth form I had no knowledge of the subject so I pushed my self to learn as much as I could with outside reading. My efforts paid off when I won the Oxford University Press Law Prize 2007 for the highest AS grade in my college which, as well as being an outstanding achievement, motivated my efforts in other subjects.
I attended a summer school at a local university in July and this gave me a real insight into the reality of student life. I attended a linguistics lecture, among other activities, and this reinforced my desire to study an English degree as I feel that university would be the perfect environment to explore the subject I love.
In my spare time I take advantage of a local Pilates and aerobics class which enhance my concentration skills. I am also a member of St John Ambulance where I learn vital life saving skills. Within St John I have also learned that teamwork and reliability are important elements of success.
I've also had the same part-time Saturday job for over a year and working there has taught me to be punctual, dependable and trustworthy. It has also developed my communication skills and allowed me to experience stressful situations like waiting on catered events. I believe all of the aspects of my job are preparing me with necessary skills for the future.
Although I have no set career path in mind I know that I find English such an appealing subject so I couldn't possibly picture myself doing anything else. I hope that an English degree will enable me to choose the right path. I understand it will be a challenge but I'm ready to take my learning to the next level.
This personal statement was written by haley for application in 2008.
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