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Articles ❱❱ What you really mean in your personal statement

What you really mean in your personal statement

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Personal statements may feel like a death sentence when it comes to UCAS applications, and although you have poured over yours for what seems like an entire academic year, you might find that your friends and college peers have included similar insights within theirs, and everything that you put into your personal statement may not be relevant all the time, so you and your friends and peers will need to know how to write a personal statement. There just seems to be certain observations that everyone writes in their personal statement, however, there are a few pitfalls and clichés to avoid, and you will need to learn how to write a great UCAS personal statement for university.

Your various activities

Everyone seems to write about how much they enjoy travelling, even though they have probably only been to Great Yarmouth twice, or that they like to volunteer, which they may be referring to the volunteering exercise as part of their Citizenship GCSE they completed 2 years ago. Students like to hint that they take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities but these really include those two weeks you tried out the school choir and hated it. Students also discuss representing their school at big events but they are actually remembering the time they had to play the triangle in the music production in the town centre when they were 14.

Your work ethic

Nobody is as independent, hard-working, creative, supportive, open-minded, and passionate or focused as you. These are your favourite words now, but what you really mean is that you sometimes have to walk to college on your own because your mate isn’t going in, you know the best filter to use on Instagram, or that you ‘support’ your friends by retweeting them occasionally to make them feel better. Although you like to consider yourself as passionate, you actually are referring to the number of playlists you have on your Spotify account, and what you mean by ‘focused’ is that you can binge-watch Orange is the New Black in one day on Netflix.

Your brain power.

When you write that you have a thirst of knowledge, you are referring to alcohol. When you mention Shakespeare you pray that the university doesn’t bring him up in the interview because you haven’t read or studied any of his plays since year 9 – and that was because it was compulsory. You may write that you are ‘widely read’ and of course you are talking about all of the Harry Potter books that you waited in line for at midnight, and then you refused to talk to your friends for two weeks until you had the chance to finish it. Some students may discuss their lifetime enjoyment of reading, but hey, we read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham too.

Your sporting interests

You feel that you are capable of writing down that you are members of sports clubs because you nearly go into Districts in Year 8. Students may also include their sporting activities outside of the school atmosphere but they are referring to the time that had to go watch their big brother play football, on a Sunday, and it was horrible.

Your academic interests

You like everything. You will probably write about how all subjects are your favourite subject. When students say they like Chemistry or Physics they mean that they watched Breaking Bad, or The Big Bang Theory, and when they mention Biology, they are actually talking about that David Attenborough series they watched with their mum. If any students discuss a keen interest in Maths or Statistics then they are lying. Nobody has a keen interest in Maths or Statistics.

Your determination

All students are trying to improve themselves, and stay up-to-date with key trends but they mean they signed up to Hootsuite, then realised they didn’t really know how to use it and never logged back in – but they still receive the emails though.

Your Entrepreneur side

Students will write that they see themselves in a high-paid job, or being their own boss but they are referring to the fact they hate being told what to do and really don’t mind where they work unless it is KFC, obvs.

Your achievements

You have a lot of achievements, but out of the ones that you didn’t list you are only really proud of your Twitter followers. You are an excellent multi-tasker but you actually mean you can watch television and Snapchat your best mate at the same time. You are capable of collecting from an array of sources for essays, however, this translates to that you try Wikipedia first and then your mum when attempting to answer a question. Students like to discuss how they grew throughout their time at college or sixth form but they’re describing the fact that they actually only got better at screenshotting really quick Snapchats, stalking people on Facebook, and leaving their coursework to the last minute.


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