Politics & Modern History Personal Statement
I have long had an interest in history, and I have a bronze lion named Stephen to thank for that. When I was 6 years old, my mother took me to a square in Hong Kong, where two bronze lions nicknamed Stephen and Stitt stand. If you look closely at Stephen, there are some deep holes in its side.
I asked my mother what they were; bullet holes, a legacy of the Japanese during the Occupation of Hong Kong from 1941-45. This is where my interest in history was born and I am a firm believer that in order to understand the present we must understand the past.
My A-Level subjects have led me to realise that I want to study a Joint Honours degree in History and Politics. It was in the past year that I discovered my interest in politics and its inevitable link to history. Having been educated in Hong Kong, I feared my lack of knowledge of British politics would hold me back. However, my keenness in the subject allowed me to excel.
I found particular interest in studying the history of the Labour Party during its wilderness years, as this complemented my British history course, which included the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher.
Studying the transition from tsardom to dictatorship in Russia has also held my fascination of history, and was highly complementary to my Politics course, in which I am studying socialism and other political ideologies. I am excited to study various other political regimes and historical periods at university level, such as the French Revolution, the rise and fall British Empire, and the history and evolution of various political ideologies.
I moved to this country over a year ago, and was overwhelmed by the vastness of my college. In spite of this, I managed to find my feet by immersing myself in various activities. I am a member of 'Noise', a student-run publication for students within my college.
I am a member of the Partnership Scheme, where I assist special needs students in their home-made enterprise and cafe. I have worked as an English tutor, and I am proud that one of my tutees is now a top student in her English class. Over the summer, I spent 3 weeks working at Barnes Summer Play School, a day camp for young children. These experiences combined have reinforced my ambition to become a teacher.
Leading up to the general election, I volunteered with my local MP Susan Kramer of Richmond Park, one of the most hotly contested seats. I was given tasks such as canvassing, which was an eye-opening experience. It involved much more than simply knocking on doors to solicit votes; you needed to be swift as well as tactical when dealing with people.
These many encounters have shown me a side of this country I never knew existed. I count myself lucky for being able to be a part of this; I was able to see history in the making. It allowed me to experience politics first-hand, rather than limit myself to the confines of a classroom.
I also completed my Duke of Edinburgh award at Silver level. The volunteering, skill-based and physical aspect of the awards posed no challenge, but the 3 day expedition certainly did. It was the most physically demanding experience of my life, and I admit there were moments where I wanted to give up.
Regardless, I completed the expedition. At the end of it, despite feeling the utmost exhaustion, I felt the most immense feeling of satisfaction. I told myself that if I can do this, I can do just about anything I set my mind to.
I am excited at the prospect of pursuing history and politics at university level, and equip myself with the necessary skills these two disciplines demand. It is also a chance for me to thrive in a whole new city away from home.
The final product you see here is draft number 8, which took a lot of time and effort. I'm fairly proud of this personal statement, it was an honest reflection of my thoughts and feelings about attending university and I hope it helps inspire someone else. It got me into my first choice university, so it has served me well. Just remember, it is a personal statement, so make it as honest and personal as possible. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of people to read over it, everyone has something to contribute and it doesn't hurt to have many fresh pairs of eyes read over it.