Politics Personal Statement
My study of AS-Level Politics not only increased my awareness and interest in current affairs, but also led me to form political opinions of my own. Studying the subject at school gave me the opportunity to visit the European Parliament, Council of the EU and EU Commission in Brussels; especially interesting in light of the preparations for the new members of the Union.
I was also able to contrast the European Parliament with the British Houses of Parliament in Westminster, which I also visited with my school, observing a debate in the Commons. I feel that experiencing both institutions gave me the ability to consider debate over the role of Europe in UK politics much more even-handedly.
My school organised many political speakers, including a local MP who we were able to question about current political affairs and a day focused on the situation in the Middle East, with discussion groups and guest speakers. I was able to attend lectures organised by Oxford University on subjects such as the role of the Prime Minister.
I have enjoyed being able to hear so many different viewpoints about contentious issues such as Europe and was especially interested in arguments for changes in the UK political system, such as further reform of the House of Lords and electoral reform. I am hoping to familiarise myself with the A2 syllabus this year with a view to possibly take the exam next June.
After my GCSEs, I was fortunate enough not only to do work experience at the Media and Communications department at the local hospital, but also to be asked to work there over the summer. This experience helped me to develop new skills as I learnt to update the hospital intranet site and also summarised Hansard when a local MP raised local concerns in the Commons.
This gave me my first insight into how public opinion is brought to the attention of Parliament. This experience in a place of work was also invaluable when I looked for weekend and holiday work, and I held a long term part-time position in an Oxford University merchandise shop, which gave me the opportunity to meet and hear the views of people from all over the world.
I visit the theatre and cinema regularly and attempt to see less conventional films, including low-budget and foreign projects, as well as more popular releases. The growth of documentary film-making has fed into my political interest and productions exploring current affairs, such as those by Michael Moore and Nick Broomfield, have been of particular interest to me.
I am also interested in drama and have recently written and directed projects in school, as well as being on the school magazine editorial committee. This gave me the opportunity to contribute several articles, including a piece reporting on the students' reaction to the war on Iraq. I also regularly attended and chaired the school debating society, where issues as diverse as homosexual adoption and the Iraq war were discussed. Again, this gave me an opportunity to hear many different viewpoints and to mediate between conflicting opinions.
I stood in two mock elections in school, which involved learning about my allocated party's policies and trying to influence public opinion on school open evenings.
I feel strongly that playing a full part of a community is the key to finding satisfaction within it, and I took on many duties in the sixth form at school. I acted as a form assistant and form representative, and was elected Secretary of the School Council and a Prefect. I also acted as Company Secretary in the Young Enterprise company.
These roles have taught me to take responsibilities whilst still concentrating on my studies, and I have relished helping the school community and supporting others. I would certainly wish to continue this in any institution I entered by making a positive contribution to university life.
I feel that it is essential to be aware of how our political system operates and to have a good understanding of the implications of current affairs. I have enjoyed my initial studies in school very much and wish to extend my knowledge of politics at university.