Physics personal statement (some course with year abroad)

A certain sense of pride and accomplishment comes with solving a physics problem. I find research rewarding, as I feel myself edging ever closer to comprehension. It is this exhilarating process that draws me to physics, and assures me there is nothing I would rather study. With physics I can push the boundaries of my own knowledge and of mankind’s discoveries. Combining theory and mathematics I can comprehend real life problems and uncover elegant proofs and concepts.
Studying physics and applied maths at school gives me a foundation in physics. Using mathematics as a tool, I have further explored the compelling world of physics, reading books such as “The Little Book of String Theory” and “A Brief History of Time”. I have had a glimpse into the fascinating areas I hope to study at university. I recently came across "The Principle of Stationary Action", which embodies so much of what I love about physics- it amazes me that such a simple equation could be so powerful. M-Theory was a new challenge for me, and is something I look forward to learning more about. I read “Focus” magazine “The New Scientist”, enabling me to keep up to date with modern advances on the frontiers of physics, such as the investigation into possible gravitational waves, spawning all sorts of interesting debate on inflation, and the multiverse.
A few years ago I took a course in Mathematics in the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland. I qualified to sit university style summer classes; this prepared me for the logical nature of studying physics: using the language of mathematics to express problems. I experienced university style teaching; we were expected to continue our studies outside the classroom: completing calculations, reading articles and putting together projects. This allowed me to develop my communication, independent learning and mathematical skill sets.
Last year I designed a project based on linear polarisation of light, for the “Scifest” competition in Dublin Institute of Technology, where I placed second in the senior project category. Working on the project, I got a taste of the scientific process: putting forward a theory, making predictions and testing them via experimentation. On presentation day I discussed my project with physicists. This invaluable experience makes me eager to study physics at university, where I can tease out queries with my peers. I was met with similar challenges during my work experience in a local PhD science lab; I saw the scientific method in action and made a presentation at the end. Developing my research and analytical abilities, my thirst to learn more only flourished. Then, at the Royal Society Exhibition in London I saw and debated exciting projects such as the Rosetta comet explorer and the GAIA project to map the galaxy.
I speak four languages- English, Irish, French and Spanish. Two years ago I was in school in France for six months, where I set a school record for the highest score on a French physics exam by an International student. I read scientific publications such as “Sciences et Avenir", to refresh my French while keeping up to date with scientific projects. I picked up Spanish last year, as a challenge, taking only one class a week outside school. In order to improve I did lots of self study before going to Mexico this summer to see friends and brush up on my oral Spanish. I am now an active member of the Spanish debating team. Debating is something I intend to keep up at university; it has allowed me to develop my critical thinking and teamwork skills. I also enjoy tutoring students in my free time as it allows me to consolidate my own understanding, while helping others with similar interests; it has taught me the importance of responsibility and leadership.
I look forward to exploring the exciting and enigmatic world of physics at university. I eagerly anticipate the chance to meet new friends with similar interests, and the opportunity to be challenged on a daily basis.

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Applied to
Physics with a year in Europe- Bristol, Imperial, Kings, Manchester
Physics- Oxford
Got offers at all bar imperial, was invited to interview but declined. Accepted offer (AAB) at oxford.

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