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Geography Personal Statement (Russell Group)

Geography teaches us everything about our world; from the forces that shape our countries into the landscapes that we know today, to the factors influencing our weather and climate, to why some cities are larger than others and why some are developing at an unprecedented rate. Geography encompasses so much of who we are, and with the increasing threats of climate change and overpopulation our skills as Geographers will become increasingly invaluable which is why I hope to study Geography.

I have always been immersed in the outdoors. Throughout my life I have spent the winter training in the snowclad Highlands of Scotland, while in the summer my family and I would often spend days out in these same hills camping, hiking, mountain-biking and exploring the natural environment. I am very fortunate to have been brought up exploring environments like the Cairngorms, the Torridons and Assynt, that many travel thousands of miles to see. Training with the Scottish Ski Team has also allowed me to visit some of the largest glaciers in Europe; seeing their power and size first hand has been inspiring, knowing that glaciers like these shaped the landscape that I spend so much time in back at home. I am also fortunate to have travelled extensively which has exposed me to a wide variety of cultures, from the souks of Marrakech to the skyscrapers of Manhattan. The differences between the societies I have witnessed attracts me to learn more, and to discover why they are so varied across the world.

For work experience I spent time with a property company in Edinburgh. It was fascinating to see the commercial reality of the subject that I had studied for my Geography Higher Assignment, the urban regeneration of Leith. I really enjoy the independent research-based learning required for the Advanced Higher Geography course and field trips to the Lake District to learn new fieldwork techniques and I feel these skills will help me during my time at university. My family has always subscribed to the National Geographic magazine and I seek out articles on climate change, glaciers, oceans; anything that tells me about the forces that shape our planet. My school introduced me to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Inspiring People lectures. I am fascinated by glaciers and the landscapes they create so, most recently,I attended a talk by Professor Doug Benn on his work in Svalbard. He talked not only of the glacial landscape and the challenges of living in that environment but also about his research into ice calving and glacial surges, which fed my fascination of glaciers and provided a real insight into life as a research scientist and Geographer.

I have been selected for all age groups of the Scottish Alpine Ski Team. The demands of national representation have taught me a lot about time management and commitment. I have recently gained my ski instructor and race coach qualifications as I want to help other people get the same enjoyment as I do from the sport. I have represented the junior teams of Royal Troon and Royal Burgess golf clubs and was selected to represent Troon as part of a smaller team that travelled to Sweden. I hope I might have the chance to represent my university in these sports. I really enjoy working as part of a team and have especially enjoyed playing in my school pipe band with its demands of coordination, cooperation and precision. I have also played the violin from a young age and had the unforgettable experience of performing Beethoven's 5th Symphony in my school orchestra to a full Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

Experiencing the geographical landscapes abroad and at home furthered my interest in studying Geography at university while expecting challenges I look forward to learning about this fascinating subject.

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Author's Comments

I applied with 3 A's and 2 B's at Higher and these were my offers;

St Andrews: Unconditional
Exeter: Unconditional
Glasgow: Unconditional
Aberdeen: Unconditional
Dundee: Unconditional

This website really helped me while writing my PS so I hope I can help others too!

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