Scottish History Personal Statement
“Swap Access to Degree Studies”
Whenever I walk through the village where I live in Polmont, and look just beyond the Westquarter valley where the tree line of the Callendar woods are visible, I close my eyes, and I am transported back to one of the most fateful days in Scotland’s history. Apart from the astute tactics of Wallace and Murray at Stirling, or the compact shiltrons of King Robert at Bannockburn, the battle of Falkirk to me, asks the most questions. When Wallace addressed his men in the summer of 1298 with the words, “I have brought you to the ring, now dance the best you can.” Did he still believe in them? Did the Scottish army who were in their shiltrons for the very first time, still have faith in their leader? Or would we know the great name of William Wallace so well over 700 years later if Andrew Murray hadn’t been fatally wounded at the battle of Stirling Bridge?
To be able to research some of these questions and more at Scotland’s top university would be a dream come true.
When I made the decision to come back into education as a mature student, it was after a lot of soul searching and with one goal in mind, to get to university and study for a degree in Scottish History. Leaving school with only 5 standard grades, I was young, naïve and my education took 2nd place. My first job in the real world was in the construction industry with George Wimpey, and even though it was only labouring it taught me a lot of the skills I use today. For 15 years my job was dealing with customers daily, and working to strict deadlines every week.
My organisational skills improved every day as did my timekeeping and working with others, all skills I believe are essential in further education. After years of asking the company finally let me write my own small column in George Wimpey’s GW monthly newsletter, and even though it was only about past building projects, it was the research that was exciting, and the part I looked forward to the most. My employment with George Wimpey came to an end with the recession, and that’s when I thought I could turn my dream of university into a reality.
At the end of 2011 my life was never going to be the same when my children’s mother died unexpectedly, and I was now a full time dad not really knowing where to start. Having my kids has made me more determined and focused than ever before, and the thought of giving them a better life has driven me on. The first step on my further education journey started in Jan 2012 when I was accepted into a part time course involving core skills. It was on this course that I learned a lot of the skills that I knew I would need if I was to be accepted onto the Access to Degree Studies course I’d applied for, skills like ICT, Communication, Working with Others and Employability. The college website, Moodle and My E-portfolio are all things I knew I would have to be familiar with. Access to Degree Studies started in August, and it has been everything I had hoped for.
Returning to education after a long time out has been inspirational, as have the subjects I’m learning, like Theatre History, and Land use in Scotland. All the skills I’ve learned since being back at college I believe I will need if I’m lucky enough to be accepted into university. My hard work was recently rewarded at an award ceremony at Forth Valley College when I won the Linda Craw Inspiration award, and was nominated in The Excellence in Learning category.
I have also been accepted into the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh as a volunteer. Getting accepted at your University to learn from the best there is would be a dream come true. To me, history is Scotland. From our great Kings like Alexander III and Robert Bruce, to inspirational Scots like Robert Burns, and the architect Sir William Bruce. Scotland is still a land waiting to be discovered. So to be able to separate historical myth from fact at one of Scotland’s top institutions, is what drives me to do my best.
This personal statement was written by Bellboaski for application in 2013.
Bellboaski's university choices
University of Glasgow
The University of Stirling
University of St Andrews
University of Dundee
The University of Edinburgh
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
Archaeology/Scottish History at University of Glasgow
I wanted to make my personal statement enjoyable to read for the university's. They read loads so think outside the box. There is a way to make yourself look good without sounding pompous, if that makes sense. Talk about the subject your applying for, research it, even talk about Doctors and Professors at the university in your chosen subject, that is always sure to impress. Good Luck. Craig x
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