History and American Studies Personal Statement Example

"You go into the humanities to pursue your intellectual passion; and...you emerge as a desired commodity for industry." I interpret Damon Horowitz's statement as an indication that a History degree seamlessly fuses a subject I love with valuable future prospects; something I have always hoped for. I believe that study of the past is extremely relevant as it evokes greater understanding of where we are and where we will go in the future.

Studying 1920's America unearthed an enthusiasm for literature embedded in the period; particularly that of F. Scott Fitzgerald and I consequently found myself submerged in American culture and politics, just as Nick Carraway finds himself in 'The Great Gatsby'. Subsequently I continuously revisited different periods of America's history, becoming entwined in the 1940s and '50s and the works of James Ellroy and J.D. Salinger. The desire to read beyond my course enabled me to thoroughly enjoy studying this era, and an enduring interest in American affairs was sparked, something I hope to expand on. Further exposure to historiography through the works of E.H. Carr, Arthur Marwick and David Cannadine has widened my perception of historians, global history and matured my analytical and evaluative skills, an aspect I am keen to ameliorate in higher education.

My studies of the creation and expansion of Europe have shown me the romanticism rooted in History, whilst more complex issues like the Irish problem and the multiple German Reichs have granted me the opportunity to explore the role of politics in history in more depth. As a consequence my political interests have flourished, leading me to political science works including Jason Ralphs's, 'America's War on Terror,' 'Diplomacy,' by Henry Kissinger and in support of my Russian coursework, F. Von Hayek's 'The Road to Serfdom'. In unison with my course I am attending a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau which though I know will challenge me greatly, will benefit my current and future studies.

Studying English has gone hand in hand with my historical pursuits; it has matured my essay writing skills and further extended my vocabulary allowing me to evaluate sources of a former period with ease. I implemented my love of History within my Design and Technology studies, manifesting my historical areas of interest such as global warfare and American politics in practical, independently researched assignments. My time management skills have been refined by Textiles, along with EPQ, providing essential practice that will only improve when at University.

During my time in Higher Education I strive to revisit my Spanish studies, I look forward to exploring the culturally rich Hispanic legacy embedded in History. As a Prefect I play an integral role in the school environment; I willingly take on duties such as fundraising and organising extra-curricular events. Acting as contributing editor at both Wirral Girls and externally for Gold&Young has allowed me to develop and hone my own style of writing whilst engaging with and inspiring other contributors. I am a devoted performer specifically in singing and speaking; I have competed in Youth Speaks Rotary Club, and I enjoy travelling and fitness.

The aforementioned activities have taught me to be self sufficient and confident whilst my part-time job has improved my communication and teamwork skills, providing me with insight into balancing studies alongside personal activities. On top of its leeway for personal interpretation and its resonance in society, I desire to study History as it is a field that has always provided me with challenge, making me crave new information.

I anticipate becoming an undergraduate and advancing from A-level limitations into new realms of History that I have not touched upon, such as East Asian affairs. A talk by Dr R. Hallett exploring the prospects of a history degree only further affirmed this for me, for he so rightly puts, 'history does not lead to one career, it leads to many'.

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This personal statement was written by elouisabelle for application in 2014.

elouisabelle's Comments

Offers from University of Manchester, University of Leeds, University of Nottingham and Kings College London. Got to the final stage of London School of Economics and Poltical Science but my grades let me down slightly.


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