Geography Personal Statement - Human/Environmental
The possibility of the human race’s days being numbered by our destructive lifestyles, as planted in my mind by Al Gore’s sensationalised and controversial ‘The Inconvenient Truth’, has fuelled my interest in the global warming phenomenon, forcing me to question society’s reluctance to tackle it and realise the worldwide impact of each of our daily lives. For me the question is not ‘to what extent do humans contribute to climate change?’ but ‘how can we become a sustainable population to avoid implications in the future?’.
I first realised how interested I was in Geography when aged eight I sneaked an atlas into my room for bed-time reading. When writing my GCSE coursework I visited local records offices, museums and libraries to investigate Lancaster’s land use, discovering how the layout and purpose of the city has changed over the past 350 years and what effect the Industrial Revolution has had on a typical northern town. At the moment I am working on my Extended Essay on the extent of environmental sustainability in LEDCs which I believe is important to aid self-help and a healthy increase in trade. I have found that in attempting to fulfil other aims, (such as improving health and primary school education) sustaining the natural environment seems to be neglected, something that could have detrimental repercussions when development reaches higher stages.
In June I worked in the Commonwealth Foundation in London, specifically on the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, introducing me to another Geography-related career. I designed complex finance spreadsheets, collected contacts and attended meetings with the associated PR company, whilst living and travelling on my own introduced me to the independence of university life.
At the age of ten I read ‘Journey to the River Sea’ by Eva Ibbotson which showed me contrast between the lives of rich Europeans and lower-class natives living near Manaus in 1910. Hosseni’s ‘The Kite Runner’ and Harrer’s ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ have also stood out for me and reading world literature draws me into the societies from different countries and eras. I subscribe to ‘National Geographic’, ‘Prospect’ and ‘Geography’ monthly, as well as watching ‘Coast’ and ‘How Earth Made Us’. They expand on issues that I have studied and introduce me to up-to-date concepts; I recently read an article considering the effect that our diet has on the producers’ diets, through market demand and our ‘need’ for ever cheaper produce.
I study at a state boarding school with specialist International and Language status where I work and socialise with a diverse range of nationalities. Through school and family I have travelled to Germany, France and Ireland, France being my absolute favourite! From visiting Caen, Paris, and Lourdes I have had a varied insight into French culture and had the chance to improve my language after studying French. I found it fascinating to compare the quiet fishing village of Arromanches to the mass-tourism in Lourdes and how they have adapted for different markets. I have hosted many nationalities in my house from Turkish to Zambian, which has taught me a great deal about how their lives in their country differ from my English upbringing.
In July of this year I completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award after four years of being involved in various recreational and voluntary projects, for example fencing and care work. I loved our expedition to the Cairngorms when I wild camped for 3 nights. Walking up into Lairig Ghru you could see Ben Macdui and the Cairngorm massif; the landscape was stunning and I am itching to further explore Scotland.
I am working towards my Grade 8 in playing the violin and have attended local orchestras for four years. It is a hobby that constantly challenges me, involving dedication and focus.
A degree in Geography will widen my horizons to the world and give me the knowledge to reach my full potential, something that I constantly desire throughout my education.
This personal statement was written by CassyS for application in 2011.
CassyS's university choices
University of Leeds
The University of Edinburgh
University of Exeter
University of Dundee
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
BA Geography at Queen Mary, University of London
My final Personal Statement - Please bear in mind that I am not amazing at English and I am a perfectionist - I could have spent 6 more months working on it and in my eyes it would still not be perfect. Please comment, I'd like to see other people's opinions and give others an example for when they write theirs. Peace :)
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