Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE) Personal Statement
I have always loved to read the dailies, as well as magazines such as Newsweek and the Economist, for news about politics and/or international relations.
Right now, my favourite hobby is following the momentous 2008 US elections. To me, politics is the most engaging and vital aspect of human life. It is about gaining, keeping and exercising power, and directly influences actions taken in other aspects of human life, whether it is religion, healthcare or family life.
People, and groups, that have power, will have always be able to make key decisions, to shape the culture and society in which everyone else lives, and to obtain the lion's share of the benefits.
Furthermore, I believe that politics and economics are linked, because economics is the study of allocating scarce resources to satisfy, as best, as possible, unlimited wants and urgent needs, and politics is the study of the people who are able to influence the allocation of scarce resources and how their political goals makes them channel these resources in certain directions instead of others.
My interest in economics was piqued by my study of the subject in Junior College.
The Philosophy, Politics and Economics course is appealing because it allows me to understand politics at a conceptual level, thus enriching my appreciation of politics as it plays out in real life, and gives me the opportunity to understand and appreciate how issues like race, religion, gender and sexuality, can influence whom voters elect into power.
The opportunity to take additional optional subjects in Politics and Economics is a boon to me, as I would love to specialize in both these disciplines in my second year.
In primary school, I was consistently top student for social studies, the only subject which required an understanding of the politics and history of a society (in this case, Singapore).
I have been a member of the prestigious Gifted Education Programme (reserved for the top 1% of the national student cohort) throughout secondary school and in primary school, due to my academic results, was graciously awarded a prestigious scholarship by the Ministry of Education paying for my secondary school education.
My favourite paper for the GCE A levels was General Paper, which required knowledge of current events and issues in society, politics and culture, as well as the ability to coherently and concisely articulate my arguments in response to essay questions, for the essay component of the paper. It has been a pleasure of mine to take part in class discussions during General Paper lessons.
I have honed my ability to communicate my insights with others, by taking part in extracurricular activities that enable me to do research into current affairs issues, while communicating my analysis to a wider audience.
For instance, I was editor in charge of politics and current affairs at the school newspaper, and my deep interest in politics and current events was manifested in articles that were read and appreciated by many of my schoolmates.
Furthermore, as a member of my school's debate team, I was exposed to debates about issues affecting society and governance.
I gradually learned the importance of examining both sides of any proposition, or idea, and, in addition to articulating my team's viewpoint in a logical and persuasive manner, I also learned to deal with opposing points of information and arguments and come up with counter-rebuttals on the spot.
During this gap year, I am volunteering at homes for the elderly and tutoring academically struggling children from disadvantaged economic backgrounds, besides working at charitable organisations such as the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Besides reading and swimming, another key interest of mine is the piano. I have recently obtained a Fellowship of Piano Performance from the Trinity College of Music London and have performed in various concerts and competitions. Currently, I give piano lessons part-time and accompany singers for public performances.
I am applying for PPE at OXford and Warwick. I would appreciate some constructive criticism. Please, no name-calling or personal attacks, thanks!