Physics Personal Statement

Of all my classes, Physics has probably shaped the way I view the world the most. Even though I know I've only learnt a tiny portion of what makes up this vast subject, every bit of new information makes me realise a little more all the complex processes that make up our known universe. From ordinary household appliances like low energy light bulbs that can be an example of electron excitation and its subsequent photon emission to the expansion of our universe after the Big Bang and its possible origins. It is a subject that teaches us to constantly move forward and evolve, since new evidence can always discredit past theories and force us to rethink what we thought we knew.

There's still so little known about our physical universe (on both an astronomical and particle level) and so much more to discover, which for me makes for an extremely important and intriguing subject.
My Physics teachers have always been encouraging, helping to visualise what we learn and to think for ourselves. I've learnt to reason logically why certain physical phenomena happen, how this can be backed up by experimental data and to understand the origins of uncertainties and errors. I've greatly improved since my early days of school, becoming more confident with equipment and being able to identify experimental limitations. My own research outside of lessons includes books like 'Seven Brief Lessons on Physics' by Carlo Rovelli, which introduces more complex areas of physics (e.g. quantum) to people who only know the basics in a very accessible way.

I've also enjoyed documentaries about scientists like Marie Curie and Richard Feynman, gifted individuals who made some of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time, whether it's pioneering work in radioactivity or the interactions between particles. I've volunteered for activities like the React Engineering Challenge at Lakes College (which my team won) and in December we are privileged to be able to visit CERN in Switzerland, a trip that will show us the important work being done in particle physics and the many careers a Physics degree could open up for us.

While I always set aside plenty of time for studying outside school, I also do a variety of extracurricular activities. I am a keen runner, being a long-time member of the local clubs Keswick AC and Bodyfit. I've competed in a variety of races, including the Cumbrian Cross Country Series and The Great Cumbrian Run half-marathon. Running teaches me important lessons in both my academic and personal life, like the importance of commitment and perseverance under pressure. I've also studied saxophone for several years now, achieving grade 5. As a very active member of the school orchestra, woodwind group and local music centre, I have made many good friends and played at various functions. Music has taught me how to work together with people and to be more confident when speaking or performing in front of a crowd. I am always up for a challenge both physically and mentally, which is why I've volunteered to do programmes like Bronze Duke of Edinburgh, German Exchange and Army Week. Most rewarding was my World Challenge trip to India, Ladakh, where I had to raise my own money for the trip, fix up a local school and climbed mountains at altitudes of up to 5500m. It was a life changing experience, as it taught me about a different culture and to be more independent.

Studying particle interactions and behaviour has always interested me the most in Physics so I do have an interest in becoming a researcher in that field, such as the research into making nuclear fusion a viable energy source in the future. I am also open to learning about the industrial side of Physics, whether in medicine (e.g. radiotherapy) or the nuclear industry, where I completed work experience with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Whatever I do, I will work hard to get there by being open to opportunities, studying productively and making the most of my time at university.

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This is my attempt at a halfway-decent personal statement, found it pretty stressful but my teachers seem to find it adequate.

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