History Personal Statement Example (Oxbridge) 1
Until my AS year, I had never completed a full school year. I am a member of the Travelling Showman community and spent several months a year travelling and working with my family's Fair. I was self-taught from the Easter holidays until September. While I kept up with the school curriculum through the Traveller Education Authority, I was free to please myself in what I read, and what pleased me most was History and poetry. I studied because I wanted to.
Because no-one in my family has ever finished school, I have had to motivate myself to learn and to develop self discipline. At GCSE and at AS level I proved to myself and others that I could excel and I was very proud to achieve a one hundred percent UMS in both my History module on Nazi Germany and one of my English Literature modules.
After my GCSEs I stepped back from full-time education for a year. I needed time to think about where I was coming from and where I wanted to go in the future. The sense of venturing into territory alien to my Traveller culture induced considerable anxiety. However, I was determined to move forward and continued to attend school part time. I am tenacious and cannot bear the sense of not achieving anything. I learned to drive and worked part-time. I look back on this period not with regret, but with appreciation for the maturity I gained.
The interconnected nature of History appeals to me immensely. I want to move on from seeing History as a series of discreet events to discovering the links across time and cultures. Wider reading has led me to feel that imperialism and colonialism in particular are fascinating and controversial areas of History, because their impact has continued to resound down the centuries to the present day. I am eager to immerse myself in a wide-ranging course and to have the opportunity to enjoy a more independent learning experience. I want to go to university because I cannot think of anything more exciting than working with people who share my enthusiasm for History.
I am also studying English Literature and Religious Studies, or rather, Philosophy & Ethics. Religious Studies has introduced me to some of the great thinkers, from Plato to Dawkins. This knowledge, together with analytical and debating skills, has made me a better historian. French at AS was a good experience because I believe that a language is a valuable asset. In English, I have particularly enjoyed novels that show how the historical affects the personal. For example, The Mayor Of Casterbridge, which reflects Victorian attitudes towards class, reputation, and morality and the impact of the Industrial Revolution on England. In July this year I attended the Eton College Universities Summer School, one of only hundred and thirty successful applicants. This cemented my decision to study History at university.
My own experience in overcoming bullying has inspired me to help others regain their confidence and go on to achieve their potential. I helped to establish YNA, a pioneering anti-bullying project, and a peer-mentoring scheme. The training helped me develop listening and communication skills and I found offering emotional guidance and support to the wider school community very rewarding. I would like to continue this role at university, perhaps with a project such as Nightline.
As a personal insight into the work of a historian, I have recently been asked by the Travellers Education Support Service in association with the first Gypsy, Roma and Travellers History Month to write a presentation on the history of my family for primary schools. I will conduct primary research to show how my family's business and way of life has changed over the years.
I feel that I am now ready for life and study at university. I am confident and independent, I am eager to discover more than my rural upbringing has to offer, and I can't wait to get on with my History degree.
This personal statement was written by Zoah for application in 2009.
I applied to:
and received offers from them all.