Philosophy & Psychology Personal Statement

In today's world, everyone is a philosopher. How can one not be, with an intake of information greater than any previous generation?

We are bombarded with words and ideas, pictures and concepts. This data has rarely been publicly questioned in centuries past yet today the media compels everyone to ask the question: why? And I am no different.

I have always pondered the motivations behind people's actions, and when I read into the subjects of philosophy and psychology my musings seemed reflected within the texts.

I believe that in studying the reasons behind murder, greed and lust, or discussing the point of our existence, I will probe beneath the flesh of our world to dissect its vital organs.

I deeply treasure the freedom of thought in my education. In history class we learn of the rise and fall of governments but the facts are never fused to an opinion. We are always free to make our own judgments.

As a student who has always inquired beyond the simplicities of humanity, I know that a degree in philosophy will allow me to apply my own opinions to grasping new ideas.

During a three-week trip to Peru last winter, I along with twenty other boys helped construct a schoolhouse for one of the poorest villages in the Cusco region, Pumamarca. I was astounded by the contrasting convictions of my peers regarding the poverty. Some believed that it was fate that willed the villagers into hardship and some believed it was the politicians.

The divergence in beliefs polarized the group from the start. Upon my return, the poverty I had witnessed and the hiking I had enjoyed compelled me to lead both the service/charity club and the outdoor club at my school.

My companions from Peru, regardless of their beliefs, sifted into each club respectively. Though their perspectives on the causes of poverty differed, their desire for its relief coincided.

From this I understand that philosophy is not merely a study of the ancients but an individual state of mind, and in reading it I will learn to decipher the ideals of humanity in a modern world.

Some people describe human error as a sin to be forgiven and some as a mistake from which consequences follow. Yet no matter the outlook, it is the sins and mistakes of people that have designed the current structure of our world.

As with philosophy, I also believe that each person examines the psychology of others inadvertently. I myself wish to delve into the criminal mind and its workings. It is the reasoning of those who commit these crimes that sparks my interest in psychology.

My love for the stage has led me to take four lead roles in senior productions at my school. While developing my theatrical experience I have found that to psychoanalyze a character has become a passion as well.

Spending three months this fall immersing myself in the role of Mortimer Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, I tasted fear. While trying to cover up murder, negotiate peace with a violent brother and woo a fiancee, I began to scratch the surface of delirium.

Yet being confined to a script, I could only go so far in displaying the character's persona. The subject of psychology, however, holds no scripted limitations to hinder free thought and that is what draws me the most to this endeavour.

Following a Joint Honours degree in philosophy and psychology I hope to go beyond finding a career that suits my personality to understanding argument, reasoning without prejudice and learning of psychological barriers that bar humanity from its full potential. For if we never ask why, how can we possibly know how?

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This personal statement was written by Hellamax for application in 2010.

Hellamax's Comments

Sending in it before December 15th, please give me some feedback

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Comments

Good; few laws in content and structure

Overall, I think that this is a good personal statement because it shows your enthusiasm for the subjects and some interesting ideas, which is obviously something that admission tutors always look for.

Your opening sentences are capturing, interesting and original.
I don't know whether you are also interested in my opinions on the content of your personal statement, if not, just skip the following paragraph.

The sentence "These courses should be .." seems to be very black and white to me, something that you write could be changed by making Philosophy and Psychology obligatory, depending on how the admission tutor thinks of this sentence, it could be contradicting itself.

The Peru example is clever and well put, but I think the reasoning of your wish to study Philosophy should be better/more elaborated.
What about the thought processes, the logic,etc.?

Using examples is a good way to explain your attitude, but I think the (good) conclusion and ending sentence at the end of your aren't linked traceably enough to the earlier paragraphs.

All in all I think your personal statement is good and that you'll be successful, good luck!

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