It happens when we least expect it There is a monster that lurks within the UCAS application – the personal statement. There is no way to prepare for the shock and horror that comes with it. You can be rest assured that it is the hardest statement that you will ever have written in your life. It might even be the hardest you will ever write…
So, we have established that it is scary, but what can you do to overcome this fear? My best answer to that is Google. The first reason why Google is a saviour is because you can search up ‘how to write a personal statement’. Please note, DO NOT search up ‘example personal statements’. They will throw you off track, they are often clichéd and most of the time they are not actually that good. The whole thing about the personal bit is that every sentence really must come from you. I know that this may seem obvious but it really is important that your statement doesn’t look like the rest – it has to shine! There is no one way to write it and so structure it however which way you want. The most important thing is content, and that is the reason why you should look at university course websites and look at what they want you to include. It is basically you speaking to the university. You research what they want to know about you and you tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
The second reason why Google will be your guardian angel is because all the information about absolutely any subject is at your fingertips. This is so important because you can find out exactly what you want to study and you can focus on that as your goal. Even if you choose to apply to lots of different courses, they can all make up your one overall goal. So you must write to shoot your goal and that means I’m afraid you will have to find things to write about. Think about some of the activities that you already do in your spare time and at school. For example, if you enjoy working with people then think about what you can do to develop this skill, the university basically says “prove it!”. This is where trusty old Google will be useful once again as there are countless websites that list all sorts of placements, courses, talks, books, volunteering opportunities, activities… And you can get involved in anything.
Another thing that can be stressful is work experience. Most people think it is necessary, but it is not. However, work placements are never too late to find and they give your personal statement some bling so you something to show off your amazingness with. Related experience is ideal but any experience is good experience. Weekend jobs are always very good to write about. It is not about what you do but what you get out of it so just make the most of anything you do. Once again Google it (e.g. ‘accounting companies in my area’) and contact some companies or else use your school, you could even ask a friend of a friend of a friend. People with jobs are everywhere!
So now you sit, with a blank page in front of you and a pen in hand. Before you do anything else, write a check list of all the things you have done. Then for everything that you have done, think about what is shows about you as a person. Put this together with the advice you found on Google and just write. Don’t even hesitate, just write – you can edit it at the end. You have written something and you are on your way. Finally, Google is once again your best friend as it helps you with spelling and grammar. Both must be 101% accurate so search for the meaning and spelling of every word and also for any grammar questions that you come up with. No frustration, no crying, no writer’s block – show that statement that you are made of sterner stuff.
Free Apprenticeship Pack for Schools Find out all about the free Apprenticeship Pack for schools – designed to enable students to easily explore the range of apprenticeships available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Creative Learning Co Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX