Geography and Politics Personal Statement
My interest in geography began when I visited an exhibition on maps from the 1400s up to the present day. They charted the progress of smaller kingdoms and county boundaries into the UK that we know today.
This enthralled me since it showed how our country has stemmed from different cultures, which is not dissimilar to what is occurring today with the spread of western influences around the world through globalisation. Alex MacGillivray’s book, ‘A Brief History of Globalisation’, shows that globalisation is one of the most widespread and misunderstood terms with no single definition.
To Bill Clinton, it is a ‘world without walls,’ but to Manfred Steger, globalisation is ‘a social process of intensifying global interdependence.’ These two ideas appear similar, but Clinton is using it as a political buzzword rather than as a geographical concept.
My main curiosity in geography is the interaction between different cultures which was furthered by the recent Arab Spring events. I was interested in the reasons why such countries would suddenly rise up into civil war.
A TED talk by Dalia Mogahed showed that high levels of unemployment and poverty were not the sole reasons for the Arab Spring events: a desire for liberal democracy, openly displayed in other countries through social media, played an equally major part.
This opposes the Clash of Civilisation Theory which states that different cultures will always have conflict because their differences lead to disagreement. This conflict will increase as globalisation continues and cultures interact more.
I have been fortunate to experience other cultures through my love of travel and this has facilitated a greater understanding of the distinctions between them and my own.
In Egypt, the role of women varied greatly. In Cairo they had greater freedom and were able to drive and go out unaccompanied but in Luxor women were more restricted in their daily life. Western ideas take time to filter through society, travel across regions and be accepted by different people.
To gain a greater understanding of the links between different social groups and what they want from their local environment, I canvassed for a political party at the local city council elections. This enabled me to speak to many different people about local issues that fed into their preconceptions about the various political parties today.
Many people whom I spoke to were not going to vote at all since they believed that all the political parties were only after individual gain. It astonishes me that since 1950, the voter turnout has fallen by 20%, which stems from a lack of interaction between voters and their representatives. Aristotle stated that “Man is a political animal,” but this no longer seems to be the case in today’s world.
Being Vice President of my college causes me to communicate well. I confidently express my viewpoints and listen and respond to others’ ideas. I have led several charity events and raised awareness of important issues such as mental health by inviting speakers into college.
I am aware of the need for prioritisation and time-management which are significant skills in independent learning. I play several sports and am a member of the backstage crew for school plays.
My persistence in judo up to blue belt level has taught me resilience and enabled me to help younger pupils with their skills: it has been a privilege to see them develop. My participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award has helped increase my leadership and teamwork skills and draw on my abilities in orienteering.
During an expedition in the Brecon Beacons, I honed my problem-solving skills which will be an asset in later life.
Geography is the key to all of the current major issues in the world. Studying this subject at university would enable me to look at the range of solutions to these problems, embark on new experiences and gain a greater knowledge of the world at local, national and international levels.
This personal statement was written by Tiggy1994 for application in 2013.
Tiggy1994's university choices
The University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool
The University of Edinburgh
The University of Manchester
Oxford Brookes University
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
Geography and Politics at The University of Liverpool