Psychology and Counselling Personal Statement

'Nurture shapes nature' - Albert Bandura.

Does society determine who we are? Moving to a new country and experiencing such a culture shock made my future seem somewhat bleak, but it wasn't my demise.

Simply observing and comparing the practises in Nigeria to the practises in London made me think about several ethical issues with disciplining students and the factors that make students in Nigeria perform to such a high standard in private schools; whether it is genetic components or the nurturing they have received living in that environment? Or perhaps a different debate altogether; the unethical disciplinary methods might lead to final causal determinism.

Subsequently I began volunteering at Holy Cross Public Primary school in a village where practises seem to differ even more so; upon speaking with the children I realised that having the privilege to school in London, had clouded my judgement and I was essentially being Eurocentric; who is to say that discipline and teaching methods over in Nigeria are archaic?

Whilst in Nigeria, I became more enthusiastic about learning why people behave the way they do, what drives them? From that I developed a particular interest in Social Psychology.

As part of my experience in Nigeria, I took part in leadership training at Apapa Sea School Training Camp where essentials such as bathing water had to be earned through commitment and effort in gruelling tasks and then working at a rental company as a secretary gave me several transferable skills such as interpersonal and organisational skills before coming back to the UK.

Travelling to the Netherlands to conduct my own research enabled me to improve my research method skills; I made observations in forests, took samples of various plant life, used statistical tests in analysing my results, and wrote a report which I then presented to my fellow students and teachers which further strengthened my ability to engage an audience.

Similarly in my other A levels, I prepare presentations based on research I have conducted outside of college, such as how the English language is used differently by males and females and correlational analysis between self-confidence and income; this has further inspired me to read psychology at university level.

The concept of attending university excites me as I am eager to conquer all the challenges that await me both academically and socially and with the experience I have gained, pursue a career in counselling.

Being an active member of the college student council, I am involved in organising social and charity events; we conducted a 'help for Haiti' campaign where we raised more than GBP100 and collected clothes for donation.

Alongside this, as an active member of my church I have been conducting Sunday school for a year together with volunteering at a citizen advice bureau, all these positions demonstrate my ability to handle responsibility, my variety of interests and commitment.

My favourite novels belong to the Malorie Blackman Noughts and Crosses trilogy, a trilogy that centres on race and class discrimination; set in an environment similar to that of Martin Luther King's time where racism was at its peak in America. However, in these books roles are reversed and it is the black people oppressing the white people.

These remarkable books lead me to draw comparisons to the Zimbardo study; why do people act so atrociously when adapting to the role society has given them?

One can not deviate into the mind of an abusive or racist person to deduce the reasoning behind their behaviour, but I intend to continue my investigation into resolving as many enigmas that exist in everyday life all around us with my psychology and counselling degree just as the beginning.

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This personal statement was written by Niaokz for application in 2011.

Niaokz's Comments

Um.. well.. i think it's pretty unique, and it got me accepted in all 5 choices soo..

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