The Persona of a Personal Statement
Once again, students up and down the country are spending hours worrying more about 4000 characters than they ever have. For many, a personal statement is the only chance they’ll have to represent themselves to their chosen universities – so they better get it right.
The consistency of pace they have been written at is remarkable. Some, who are not even early entry candidates, have applied, and yet others have not even started. While the deadline is in January, it is a time when students will be revising for exams – and a rushed personal statement is likely to be a disappointing one.
A shrewd student will already be well under way with theirs, if not already finished. They will hopefully have plenty to write about too, with their passion for their subjects, work experience, and hobbies and interests widely touted by universities. Extended reading is also a must for a highly-competitive university.
Overall, it is down to the student to prove their personality, work rate and communication skills. It is their piece, they have plenty of time to do it and are largely in control of the situation. A good personal statement can give students a few offers from good universities, but a bad personal statement can leave a student in clearing when they haven’t even done any A2 exams.
And it is this that clearly shows the value and importance of a personal statement. It should be treated like a piece of coursework – people should give themselves enough time for a few drafts so that they can get it right. If they do this, their choices are there for the taking.
Joe Curran, Year 13