Geography personal statement
Considering my interests and hobbies, I could have chosen one of any number of subjects as my main area of interest, but there is no other subject which captures my imagination so completely as Geography, and I see links to it in almost every aspect of my life, both within and outside of my studies. My A-levels in English Literature and Maths have helped me to improve my analytical and essay writing skills, and my travels within the UK have enabled me to see in person the causes and effects of issues I have studied, particularly in urban and rural development. For example, in Totnes, in Devon, there has recently been both a large influx of people moving away from larger towns, and a transition town scheme started to attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of the town. I am led to question whether these two changes are linked, and in what way. It is the type of relationship seen here between social, economic and environmental factors that I hope to be able to better understand by studying Geography.
I want to be able to further experience geographical issues as well as make a difference in developing communities, so for 10 weeks starting in April 2010 I will be working with the charity Azafady in Madagascar, specifically on projects relating to sustainable development, health based infrastructure and habitat conservation. I hope to be able to not only further understand the effects of a global market on LEDCs while working in one of the world's poorest countries, but also to experience how changes in climate globally affect delicately balanced ecosystems such as those found in Madagascar. My reading choices also reflect my interest in Geography - I subscribe to National Geographic and New Internationalist magazines and eagerly await their arrival, and also read The Independent daily. I read widely and have been able to pick up on issues that I can link to geography in many of my book choices, most notably the problems of urbanisation, war, famine and racial segregation in Barbara Kingsolver's "Poisonwood Bible", which also partly inspired my desire to visit Africa, and was one text that I used in a comparative coursework essay in A2 English.
I enjoy how the study of Geography can range from very widely based topics such as weather and climate, to more focused study such as the reasons for and effects of a sudden decline in the number of a particular species in a remote ecosystem such as The Galapagos. While I am more attracted to Human Geography, I hope to be able to study a range of Human and Physical Geography at university and to be able to better understand links between the two.
Outside of my studies, I am involved in several political and environmental action groups, and this year attended the Climate Camp in London and People & Planet's conference "Shared Planet"; at which environmental and development issues are discussed. Living in London, I am lucky to be able to experience a wide range of the life and culture of the city, while also spending time in plant cultivation and beekeeping on my family allotment. I am able to see the fascinating cultural diversity of urban environments and change in urban landscapes that have occurred, while also being fully aware of the natural world and how humans have shaped it in order to fit with our growing demand for food, fuel and space. This has led to a particular interest in global food security; I enjoyed researching for and writing my A2 Geography coursework on the topic of famine and the extent to which it is caused by human factors.
The understanding of statistics that I gained from studying Maths has helped me to interpret and understand the numbers which represent issues that I come across such as migrant flow statistics and population demographics.
I am aware of the commitment and hard work that studying degree level Geography entails, and look forward to the challenge as the social and academic skills required will hopefully aid me in a Geography related career.
Will update once i've got my offers or lack thereof on what's good or not..