Geography and Sociology Personal Statement
Submitted by Amy
The appeal of broadening my understanding of Geography and specialising in the sociological aspects is to better comprehend the dynamics of differing societies as they become evermore relevant.
My enthusiasm for Human Geography derives from my recent travels alone to Cambodia via Projects Abroad. Raising the finance for this trip by organising various car boot sales and pop-up restaurants enabled me to teach English to underprivileged Cambodian orphans. Engaging with the children, many with behavioural issues, was challenging and I had to adopt an element of resilience in order to overcome the language barrier but the small differences I made to the children's lives was hugely rewarding. By volunteering in a Less Developed Country, I witnessed the significant social inequalities firsthand, such as the mass poverty and unequal wealth distribution which provided an insight into varying global governance. It was this, alongside the continuing westernisation of Cambodia and learning its dark history, that became a catalyst for my decision to study this course. To further my knowledge, I completed a taster course from University College London titled 'Why We Post: the Anthropology of Social Media'. The exploration of technological advancements accentuating cultural priorities enthused me to delve into the way digital platforms shape our lives.
My engagement with the topic of globalisation led me to focus my Geography coursework on the national influx of clone towns due to the increasing interconnectivity and the consequent effect of homogenisation. This subject encouraged me to explore Doreen Massey's theory of a dynamic global sense of place, stating places are shaped by the people within them, causing variations locally and globally. Massey strengthened my interest in the course's focus on urban development as the progression of technology, despite these variations, becomes more apparent. I further investigated governments' altering responses to natural disasters. What fascinated me were those that adopt the fatalistic approach, such as India, and why that mind-set is acceptable prompting me to seek a deeper understanding on these global social attitudes.
Studying Psychology has consolidated my interest in humanity whilst teaching me transferable skills such as quantitative and qualitative data analysis when conducting small-scale research. My geographical fieldwork further enhanced these skills when implementing the use of GIS software and statistical tests, both of which will be vital to my studies. English and my vociferous appetite for books has enabled me to develop my analytical skills when exploring critical interpretations and consolidate my essay writing ability. By focusing my coursework on the oppression of women within 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'A Thousand Splendid Suns', I explore gender inequality between contrasting cultures - again furthering my interest on global disparities.
I currently volunteer in a foodbank where their demographic data has alerted me to the immediate disparities around me. Many people require charitable support despite living in such an affluent area, helping me comprehend the socio-economic inequalities. Extra-curricular activities including netball and Duke of Edinburgh Award have developed my teamwork skills, from maintaining high morale to demonstrating my personal endurance. Also, my leadership role as a Student Ambassador has been hugely rewarding as I help students struggling with issues such as schoolwork or mental health. My specialised training from the national mental health charity MIND provided me with a greater understanding of individuals as well as practising time management when arranging meetings and assemblies. Ultimately, it is this interaction between humans that is at the crux of an increasingly volatile world with global inequality, mass migration, colliding cultures and political norms being challenged and University will allow me to immerse myself into the topic.