Mature student - Politics
Studying politics and the various social sciences under its umbrella is becoming an increasingly more important need. In a world of globalisation, studying political systems, theories and societies is essential for understanding what drives the forces of our world. Our crises are becoming more interconnected as we are impacted by climate change, health risks and inequality. My first encounter with politics was with the 2010 UK General Election. I grew up in a working-class family on a Council Estate in Hackney and had always been aware of the struggles that low-income families face. Over 10 years later I am still impacted by the politics of that same election as I have faced homelessness and the need for trade unions to protect my rights as a worker. Thus, I understand how important it is to stay vigilant against oppression and protect marginalised people.
Owen Jones’ book, ‘Chavs: the Demonisation of the Working Class’ had a huge impact on my view of the working-class. I had only been able to view it through my own experiences, but I became aware of a long history of struggle globally. I picked up a few of Noam Chomsky’s texts, his notes ‘On Anarchism’ were also significant. I began to feel that we should be able to change the political system when we feel it doesn’t serve us properly, and I certainly feel that the crises we face globally have been caused by politics not serving the masses. To combat this I have remained active, I volunteered as a Community Responder and Vaccination Steward as I wanted to make an impact on our underfunded NHS during the fight against COVID-19. I also created a TikTok account dedicated to sharing quotes from reputable books so that I could disseminate reliable political sources to facilitate discussion on the platform on issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and feminism. I am a member of the Labour party and have been politically active by attending marches such as the ‘Dump Trump’ and ‘Free Palestine’ marches. I have also attended speeches by Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan to support their electoral campaigns.
Additionally, I have delved into economic and philosophical topics whilst also choosing to teach myself British Sign Language. On OpenLearn I studied ‘Economics and the 2008 Crisis: a Keynesian View’, and am now able to discuss why I believe austerity is not the correct method to use in a time of crisis. Similarly, I used FutureLearn to look at ‘Incarceration: Are Prisons Suitable?’. It was an introduction to some philosophical debates around prison systems and how moral they are. It has been so rewarding discussing the topic with other users. I am enthralled by the idea of being able to continue these rigorous discussions at an undergraduate level.
Whilst working in retail I began tutoring A-level students and volunteered with Open Tutoring. My student improved from a ‘D’ to an ‘A’ grade. We achieved this together through hard work, a passion for the subject, organisation and patience. Bringing in my knowledge from my Government and Politics A-level with my extra reading from books such as ‘Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump’ meant I could help my student identify a vast number of examples and critically analyse them. Being an educator was so rewarding that I am steering towards a potential teaching career and have begun by taking a role as a Classroom Assistant.
In the future I hope to make a difference through my work as a volunteer in my community and as an educator. I plan to continue tutoring in the hopes that I may leave with my undergraduate degree and enter into the world of teaching. Otherwise, I have high hopes that I can continue to educate in my spare-time whilst working to change policy in the UK to benefit the many, not the few. That being the main reason why I am excited to study Politics and social sciences at an undergraduate level.
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