Submitted by Anna-Marie
After returning from a family visit to Nigeria, my eyes immediately opened to the severity of malaria, which my brother had contracted. His recovery highlighted to me how vital research into immunology and disease affect diagnosis and treatment of such illnesses in the NHS. This experience fuelled my desire to study biological sciences as I am keen to access the latest advancements in biomedical sciences at degree level. To explore this interest further, I arranged a work experience placement at my local hospital and shadowed a consultant for a day. I saw how professionals adapted their way of communicating in order to provide care for dementia patients in an appropriate manner whilst maintaining their dignity. Observing drug rounds showed me how medical research and discoveries ultimately benefit the healthcare sector. I helped patients according to their individual needs and overall I have gained a better insight into the practical applications of biomedical sciences. I appreciated the 3 months I spent on the orthopaedic ward because as a keen athlete, I am fascinated by musculoskeletal function and its relation to health, injury and exercise.
I look forward to learning about physiology in more detail, at a cellular level and the metabolic processes involved in biological sciences. Psychology gave me the opportunity to complete a project on autism to present to my class. My chosen topic was spurred by my experiences as a young carer and living with an older autistic sibling.
I grasped the theory of nature versus nurture, researched further into it and linked it to autism. I discovered that the nature side showed a strong genetic basis for autism but the spectrum is complex due to environmental factors such as upbringing. I am eager to apply my research skills into multifactorial disorders as the field of genetics expands. I have seen a reduction in my brother's agitated behaviour and this is primarily due to Risperidone, which I learnt balances dopamine and serotonin levels.
Biology introduced me to how different drugs affect synaptic transmission and how this in turn affects the brain's neurotransmitters. I find neurology an intriguing topic in biological sciences so I am driven even further to study this course. I enjoy using light microscopes to observe bacteria and eukaryotes as it enables me to comprehend the structure and function of various organisms. These analytical skills overlap in Chemistry when I interpret mass spectra to identify organic compounds, many of which are present in medications. I have thus improved essential practical skills for biosciences. Competing in athletics has taught me how to manage time better without compromising my studies.
In 2016, I became the under-17 UK champion in the 300 metres sprint and used my success to inspire others in my community as a member of the county's young leaders' athletics academy for a year. I built on my team working abilities with my peers when planning events for children. Conflict would arise so we took turns to listen and show respect to all opinions. I utilised my leadership by ensuring morale was high and each member understood their task to meet deadlines. These responsibilities will enable me to thrive in future group projects during my degree.
However independently, I have raised over £1000 and counting for charities such as KISS and The National Autistic Society. It involved pushing myself out my comfort zone as I would talk to large audiences and the local newspaper about certain causes. This increased my confidence, especially in presentations.
I am excited to participate in such activities at university. Completing this degree will provide me with the academic rigour which is key to unlocking the door to wider opportunities within biological sciences. I aim to prosper as an accomplished student and achieve a valuable skill set at university to pursue my career aspirations in research.