This time last year I was at drinking gallons of coffee in my college canteen wondering how on Earth I was ever going to convince a university to let me study there. Admittedly, it was a stressful time, but the feeling of relief and happiness from receiving my offers on UCAS made it all worth it.
I cannot stress the importance of your personal statement; do not leave it until the last minute! Personal statements allow universities to get a sense of character and passion for your chosen subject, which are equally if not more important than the 3 letters you’ll be presented with on results day. In fact, my personal statement was what gave me my unconditional offer to study here at Plymouth!
My top tips for writing a personal statement are…
· Be genuinely interested – make sure you’ve researched the course you want to study!
· Show interest in he degree through extracurricular activities – in my personal statement, I discussed an ongoing trial in my local area to show current awareness. I discussed what I thought the verdict may have been, applying the legal knowledge I’d been learning in the real world (funnily enough, I got it wrong; she was found not guilty).
· Give a glimpse of you – as I’ve said, personal statements give universities an insight to the personality behind the grades.
· Get someone to check it – subject teachers in your chosen area are great for this, as they’ll help tailor your personal statement for your course.
Thankfully, I’ve always known I wanted to study Law right from when I was at GCSE level, so that was one certainty I had which made the process a little easier. My only indecision was where I was going to do my studies – which is a totally fine and totally normal position to be in. By attending open days, applicant days, and any kind of chance to go and get a first-hand experience of the university, you can see if it’s a community that you can see yourself fitting in with. Always remember this is a decision about YOU and where you feel you’d thrive the most, don’t let other factors like where your friends are going influence your decision.
Once all the offers have rolled in and you’ve selected your firm and insurance options, make sure to complete the other bits and bobs which come with applying to university too. It’s all too easy to miss that email saying the accommodation portal is open, so keep an eye on your inbox and postbox to make sure you are on top of the first-year logistics. You’ll also need to sort out your student loan – I know they may seem tedious and it feels like months until September, but sorting these early could save you money and hassle later on down the line.
So, make yourself a hot chocolate, put on your Christmas playlist, get organised and start looking forward to your future at university! 😊