Politics Personal Statement
To indulge myself with a cliche, my interest in politics began with my father. As an avid socialist, student activist (he had entered university education in his 30s) and fairly irresponsible parent, I thank him for my first encounters with tear gas and riot police to the ideologies of Karl Marx and Che Guevara.
He still reminisces about times when he wanted to change the world and I detect a hint of melancholy in his words. Politics for him, much like my mother with whom he divorced more than a decade ago, is somewhat an unrequited love; having spent years of his life fighting a dictator and trying to make a difference, he is now in his 40s and a personnel director of an IT firm.
The irony is that his boss is the former secretary of the afore-mentioned dictator. So, go figure.
Much like him, I find myself passionately drawn into the world of politics; as the saying goes, 'blood can't be deceived'. I feel that politics is the way for me to contribute to the world. I want to be that chapter in the history books.
I want to make a difference in the world. As Barack Obama says, "change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." As a Korean citizen and a UK resident, I find that my perspective on politics is often distinct and at times, unique.
My childhood in Korea shaped me as a person, whereas through British education I have developed skills and ideas that aren't open to many in South Korea. From History A Level, I have learned that human choices can alter the seemingly inevitable future, although the cynical spectator in me thinks that history inevitably repeats itself, sometimes regardless of whether we learn a lesson from it or not.
History and Economics have allowed me to develop an informed and objective viewpoint, while helping me to form my own personal opinions. Adding to my analytic skills, English Literature has helped me to understand British culture better.
Aside from academic interests, I am a keen linguist. I am fluent and literate in Korean, while I consider English, my second language, to be on par or even surpassing my mother tongue. Recently, I have been teaching myself Japanese, in which I'm at a conversational level.
Sadly, I dropped French AS in favour of English Literature, yet I maintain a basic knowledge of the language, on a similar level to my German.
Being a part-time translator has furthered my skills in English and Korean. It gave me an insight into how businesses work both through my clients and the translator's cooperative that I operate under. Our group also works on voluntary work for charities, the latest of which was a project for FairTrade for which I even had to use Spanish in translating a speech made in Peru.
As an internationalist, I keep a broad knowledge of current affairs, from the situation in Tibet, to the invasion of Georgia, to the recent election of Obama as the US President. I regularly read the Guardian, sometimes followed by comparative readings of other papers like the Daily Mail and the Independent.
I like to access Korean papers like Hankyoreh and Chosun Ilbo through the Internet as well. In my leisure time, I play the bass guitar in several bands with different styles of music. Playing with others aids my social skills as well as musical ability. I also write songs that I sing and play on acoustic guitar, which requires creativity both as a lyricist and musician.
My great-grandfather was a politician who opposed a dictator from within his own party. As a strict constitutionalist and former lawyer, he once said; "I regret going into politics. However, I always walked the path that had to be walked. There always has to be someone who's stubborn and willing to stand for what's right."
Like him, I feel that I have to walk the right path, even when no others will. Through university and to my ambition as a politician in Korea, I will hold this virtue to my heart.
I've written this in the space of the last hour or so. It's turned out more vague and rant-like than I wanted. I seriously need to get my UCAS application sorted out, so any comments, no matter how harsh they are, will be greatly appreciated. By the way, I'm applying for Edinburgh, Essex, Hull, Kent and Warwick. I might change Edinburgh to Reading and Warwick to something else though.