I hope we’ve all enjoyed the weather before it became more indecisive than an Undergraduate with three Degrees and one degree of separation. At the two Open Days we had last week I met some students applying for Criminology and hopefully we’ll be seeing them next year. A few students wanted some ‘inside info’ for their Personal Statements, I reminded them that these are suppose to be personal so are by their nature highly subjective. This separates the flaneur students from those with a passion for social science. I recommended they show their personality rather than trying to sell themselves with ‘inside info’. My application to Leicester may be fait accompli by two years but sitting in my old bedroom I find it easier to reminisce.
Writing my personal statement was a different experience than most A level students because I didn’t study A levels! I studied an Access To Higher Education course for mature students (21+) which is similar to A Levels but condensed into one year, so we have to write our personal statement about a month after returning to education, which for many of the students was more than ten years ago! I’m not sure what date A level students send off their personal statements but I’m guessing those students that asked for some ‘inside info’ are getting ahead of the competition. I tried not to think of applying to University as a competition, true that I wasn’t even sure what Criminology was when I applied but I knew that it’s a social science cocktail and that I’m a social person, with some experience with offending, so I believed this course suited me. I didn’t deny my knowledge of crime but at the same time I didn’t use it to sell myself. I found it easier to talk about my own personal experience and how they led me on the path to back into study and a choice of Studying Criminology. I didn’t say much about the University of Leicester apart from my campus preference, as I believed that quoting the coat of arms would only make me sound fake. During the last U.E (University Experience) Day there was a talk about Personal Statements and this was brought up (along with plagiarism) to highlight the lack of personality in simply copying facts from a prospectus. This isn’t going to tell the person who reads your statement anything about you, let alone anything personal.
On the topic of mature (not very) students, for my next blog post I’ll cover some decisions involving student living.