Environmental Science Personal Statement
Nuclear wars, pandemics, asteroid strikes and climate change. What do they all have in common? They could all lead to human extinction. What don’t they have in common? Only one of them is an issue today. Climate change.
People are obsessed with catastrophe films. Our morbid fascination with seeing an alternative outcome to theoretical scenarios is a multi-billion dollar industry. Maybe we want to shake up our lives a little. Perhaps we simply want to be the hero. Either way, our cinematic masochism sees no bounds when it comes to watching humanity ceasing to exist in the time it takes for Michael Bay to blow up five buildings and destroy three others. The problem is that lately, seeing the Statue of Liberty submerged for the umpteenth time is considered boring. But what happens when it becomes our reality?
This is why I would like to study environmental science at university. I want to understand the challenges we face as humans from something much bigger than us so I can do something to promote a more sustainable future. I want to know more about the efficacy of conservation, the importance of feedback mechanism and the consequences of permafrost thaw. I am also very interested in atmospheric sciences with an emphasis on meteorology. Doing an A-Level in Geography has been extremely rewarding and enjoyable so far. I am amazed by how diverse it is and while I enjoy the human part of it, I will always love the physical more. I feel that doing an EPQ on whether or not the European Union should be classified as a superpower has helped me tremendously in terms of improving my skills, such as time management due to our weekly deadlines. I also think that my investigative and graphical skills have improved because of my need to find and analyse very complex data.
The prospect of field trips excites me no end because I absolutely love learning more about other places. Spending three days in Shropshire for my geography exam in November was really fun and relaxing, and it also allowed me to learn more about less developed places in the UK. I love to travel and every year I go on a road trip to Hungary which, in my opinion, makes me much more open to other cultures. It’s fascinating to see how a border, which is technically an imaginary line, can result in such drastic changes in customs, beliefs and the overall quality of life. This is why I would like to spend a year abroad at university, to experience something very different, something that would benefit me in the long run and something that would provide me with a new, exciting challenge. My biggest challenge to date has been moving to London from Hungary at the age of twelve. Not being able to speak English before, I found the whole experience very surreal at first, but as time progressed, so did I. My school was very supportive of me and therefore I love giving back by participating in as many things as I can. For example, I help out a lot with young students who struggle with reading and writing. This doesn’t just improve my communication skills, but I also have to be able to explain things clearly and concisely.
During my GCSEs, I went on a school trip organised by my Geography teacher to Italy, and fulfilled my childhood dream of visiting Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. After climbing the latter, I was astonished by how enormous it was and for the first time, I could imagine the destruction a single volcano was capable of causing. My sudden epiphany was definitely responsible for my newly sparked interest in volcanology and I am very happy to have the option to continue to delve deeper into the subject at university.
In conclusion, Part VI of the “Stern Review” by Nicholas Stern inspired me to look into the Kyoto Protocol and the transformation of the energy systems, as these will play a crucial part in the race for a more sustainable future. This links in with what I would like to do in the future as I want to pursue a career in climate diplomacy.
This personal statement was written by Lengyi for application in 2015.
Lengyi's university choices
University of East Anglia
The University of Manchester
The University of Reading
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made