History Personal Statement Example 39

Fuelled by an early fascination of conflicts, people and the way our world has been shaped, history has always been the natural choice for me. The ability to study history offers the opportunity to critically analyse and question particular perceptions of the past and to form an opinion that is not only rewarding but also liberating. By studying the past, the present can be interpreted and appreciated.

My A level studies have furthered my commitment to history and encouraged me to challenge and expand upon my perceptions of the subject. The study of Stalinism and the USSR at A2 has been
particularly evoking, engaging in detail the sheer scale of conflicts such as the Battle of Stalingrad and the immensity of human cost that still has reverberations today. I have found accounts of this conflict, such as Anthony Beaver's 'Stalingrad', particularly insightful as well as enjoyable.

The impact of Stalin's leadership in transforming Russia into one of two superpowers in a bipolar post-war world is incredibly engrossing, even more so considering the debate over whether Russia was accurately 'totalitarian'. English literature has allowed me to delve deeper into the humanitarian aspect of history and has encouraged upon me an appreciation of events in the past. Writers such as Ralph Ellison, James Joyce, and Charles Dickens have illuminated my understanding of the plight of humans in ways which facts and figures cannot. My interest in history also continues outside of school. I enjoy reading novels set in a historical context, such as Ken Follett's 'The Fall of Giants'.

The intricate development of characters such as Grigori Peshkov means I can enjoy history for what it is and not necessarily as a discipline. I took great enjoyment in the undertaking of an Extended Project during A2 where I was able to analyse the advancements of military weaponry over the past one hundred years, reinforcing my desire to study history at degree level where autonomous reading is encouraged.

My greater involvement in the school community has been a rewarding aspect of Sixth Form life. As well as highlighting a personal determination to get to the top and to lead, I achieved the position of Prefect which has taught me the importance of community. I take pride in mentoring the younger students in my Advisory - which is a vertical structure of around three students from every year group - whilst the notion of being a role model is extremely satisfying.

Away from academia, I have a part-time job at a garden centre that has enabled me to become a personable and approachable individual. Whilst the cliches of improved communication and time management skills are relevant, I feel paid work has equipped me with important life skills and a greater responsibility to do well for myself. It has also reinforced to me how important it is to be able to acknowledge a variety of viewpoints, something I feel is invaluable in the study of history. I am a keen sportsman, in particular football, and this is something I am looking forward to continuing at university. Walking and cycling are very relaxing past-times of mine and they also keep me fit. In addition, I enjoy gaming and have my own blog where I muse about music, technology and current affairs.

The study of history compliments my desire to pursue a career in law, where historical debate and clear-thinking are essential in order to be successful. This choice of degree allows me to take opportunities that have not been available to me before and what appeals to me the most is the opportunity to debate a vast spectrum of arguments in order to exercise my opinion. I believe this degree will give me the platform to develop my understanding of history in greater detail and to ultimately further myself individually.

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This personal statement was written by jamierdfc for application in 2012.

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Applied to Sussex, Brunel, Essex, Reading and UEA with target grades of ABB


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