Environment and Sustainable Development Personal Statement Example

Mankind is rocketing towards an unrecognisable existence. Bird song resonates with explosive drilling; monoculture has usurped diversity; indigenous knowledge is drowning in concrete. These are the ever increasing signs that human responsibility has leapt from the wheel, and left destruction on cruise control.

The dynamic relationship between humans and the Earth has always captivated me. I can recall the first time I heard the words ‘climate change,’ ‘consumerism,’ and ‘overpopulation’; more importantly, I remember the lump in my throat and the worry that lined my face like an Ordnance Survey map.

I chose A level Environmental Studies to give substance to the issues that are continually significant to me. Discovering the pollution pandemic, alternative energy, protocols of Montreal, Kyoto and more has fuelled me with a drive to make sustainable living not only more accessible, but globally more accepted.

Further study of a related degree is the only way forward for me. A desire to complement the broad spectrum of Environmental Studies naturally led me to the fascinating intricacy of Biology. Here my scientific skills have been honed by controlled experiments, leading to statistical analysis and debating ethical issues.

Holistically, English Literature was an obvious choice; the need for imaginative communicators is vital to catalyse understanding and unity. Extensive essay writing combined with an exploration of views and purpose has shaped me into an open minded, creative, and engaging writer.

After A levels, I am deferring my university entry due to a placement I have secured in Ecuador. For three months, I will join a small, voluntary team in the Andean rainforest.

This is a grass roots project; the core of the work involving restructuring the community’s income from timber logging to eco tourism and organic farming, whilst providing environmental education in a local school.

This experience will give me a unique opportunity to apply my studies to a real life situation and, vitally, help sew the seed of environmental conservation to the tourists and indigenous community. I have raised my project fund through part time jobs in a local café and bar.

Balancing this with my other endeavours such as The Duke of Edinburgh Award, cooking, and salsa dancing has been challenging, but I have maintained my dedication to all with zeal. The determination it has taken to plan this trip has ignited a work ethic that will help me throughout the challenges of university.

For the future, my vision is to use my degree to communicate the urgency to act upon what we are continually learning about the Earth, before the ramifications of our actions become catastrophic. I understand that cultures have a right to develop to gain equal standards of sanitation and economic stability; volunteering in the Salvation Army soup kitchens has shown me people who are desperately suffering.

Yet it is imperative global standards of living are progressed in a way that promotes harmony throughout the environmental and social realms, without compromising future needs.

Retreating glaciers, drought, foreign disease: far too many tragedies prove we have a debt to pay to our incredible planet, a duty to evolve society around sustainable ways of life. The thought of studying issues of such overwhelming importance fills me with awe. I cannot wait to be in a community where my enthusiasm is shared by experts who have the knowledge, resources and experience to help me flourish.

It was during an English lesson that I stumbled upon this unforgettable omen: “The sedge is wither’d from the lake, and no birds sing.” These poignant words, by the poet Keats, were even credited in Rachel Carson’s revolutionary ‘Silent Spring’.

However, I’m glad to say: Mr. Keats, I disagree. Humanity has not yet rendered your prophecy true. Through university, I hope to take my first steps to help steer the world from the clutches of devastation, before it is too late.

Profile info

This personal statement was written by einnocon for application in 2013.

einnocon's university choices
University of East Anglia
University of East Anglia
Lancaster University
The University of Birmingham
University of St Andrews

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

Sustainable Development at University of St Andrews

einnocon's Comments

Hope this helps anyone stuck with their personal statement. My advice would be to write it from the heart!


Statement rating:*****

Related Personal Statements


Fair Play

You've got the right structure, wording is pretty perfect too

Blown away. Good job sir/maam

Blown away. Good job sir/maam



^ that was me :p

that was me :p

i feel like i wont get in

i feel like i wont get in ANYWHERE after having read ur p.s haha


Wow, this is a truly fantastic personal statement! I am also wanting to apply to St Andrews for Sustainable Development, however I am also applying for a Sustainable Product Design course at Brighton. This is a very good guideline, I think it has shown me that creativity and originality is definitely the key. So this is going to be easy...not.

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