History Personal Statement Example 62

I never had the chance to meet my grandfather, a POW of Japan during WW2. I did, however, have the invaluable chance to read his jarring contemporary account of life in the jungles of South-East Asia. Such a document instilled an unparalleled appreciation of the necessity of sources and accounts in understanding history that singles me out from my peers and set me on a path towards a profound love of the past.

Over the course of my time at college I have become familiarised with the complex mechanisms of Tudor England, and it is fascinating to see that the changes that characterise the era still have a deep impact on our modern world. We consider the Norman Conquest as the creation of England, yet it was not until the accession of Henry VII that we finally had a truly English king. I thoroughly enjoy and have a comprehensive understanding of British history, but I look forward to broadening my horizons and having the opportunity to study global modules, in particular the history of Spain, especially the civil war and subsequent turbulent politics of Francoist Spain.

Studying Biology and Chemistry alongside History has allowed me to appreciate the fact that they are not as disparate as one would think. Karl Popper said that 'The history of science, like the history of all human ideas, is a history of irresponsible dreams, of obstinacy, and of error,' and I am inclined to agree. Studying Biology and Chemistry has encouraged me to develop keen analytical skills different to those which I have learnt with History but nonetheless just as valuable, especially as it allows me to view evidence and sources through a different lens. Additionally, the sciences have given me a deep attention to detail and a penchant for problem solving which work in tandem with my acquired history research skills.

History is such an integral part of my life that it has ebbed its way into even my hobbies. I had the opportunity to solo travel around Europe in the summer of 2018, my time in Poland stood out to me in particular; my trip to Auschwitz was particularly moving and felt like a true, solemn, step into the past. My odyssey required me to quickly adapt to new environments, required strict budgeting, and allowed me to value the importance of communication in local languages. Earlier this year I also participated in a debate competition against 15 other competitors in the Sutton Coldfield area, where my effective communication, organisational skills, and initiative helped me win the best speaker award. My work experience as a lab technician in my secondary school, which involved setting up science experiments for prospective students and ensuring they occurred smoothly and were of educational value, gave me better understanding of how to independently follow complex instructions, which I believe will be essential for university.

I look forward to hopefully having the chance to study abroad at another institution in order to understand history from the perspective of another nation - something I have never had the chance to study before. During my time at college I have gained a newfound interest in American Revolutionary history and the subsequent self-determination they enjoyed following their emancipation from Britain, and I would enjoy the opportunity to study this era of history for a year in America itself.

After university I hope to progress onto a Master's course, possibly leading to PhD level, as I would like to teach History as a career. However firstly I anticipate the academic challenges and social prospects that await me at university.

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Author's Comments

I wrote this personal statement in summer 2019, made minor alterations in September, and it was sent off in November. My predicted grades were AAB. All of my course choices had a study abroad year included.

I received offers from all five of my choices within two days of applying, with two unconditionals.


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