University of Kent, History Personal Statement
My passion for History stems from a young age through world travel having had the phenomenal experience of visiting many unique historical sites such as the ruins in Pompeii; the Vatican and Coliseum in Rome; the Arc de Triomphe, Château de Fontainebleau, Les Invalides in Paris; Chichen Itza in Mexico as well as many others. At each site I was completely mesmerised and realised History really isn’t something that only exists within the pages of a text book. A few years ago I was given the privilege of going to Auschwitz and the Krakow Jewish Ghetto. I had a once in a life time opportunity to speak to one of the last survivors who said “The Nazis victimized some people for what they did, some for what they refused to do, some for what they were, and some for the fact that they were.” This moved me emotionally and made me consider history in the terms of the history of people and discrimination. On my return I read the inspiring book ‘The Girl in the Red Coat’ which made me realise that once people face this harsh discrimination, they never will feel secure again in society.
Following this new interest I then read ‘Troubling the Waters: Black-Jewish Relations in the American Century’. It made me aware of the masses of discriminated groups and how they sometimes work together, for example the African-American and Jewish citizens working together within the civil rights movement of 1960. One topic that predominantly intrigues me now is the history of discrimination in America, especially the effects of the slave trade with the novel ‘The Life of a Slave Girl’ really opening my eyes. Discrimination is still a key issue in today’s society and with appropriate course modules offered on discrimination and the history of America in general, I feel I could really use this degree to take my passions into unimaginable depths.
In my study of History so far I have been educated on an array of different decades and themes through a global perspective. Going to university will help me to expand my keen interest in a broad selection of different history as well as key specialised areas which I believe will make me a better-rounded historian for the future. It will help me build on my skills obtained through studying history, such as being able to effectively research as well as interpreting sources and improved independence. My A level studies of History, along with Politics, has helped me greatly in critical analysis and essay writing skills that will be crucial. Politics has enabled me to gain global awareness and understanding of collective dilemmas and global issues which I feel will deeply benefit my degree. My economics A-Level has given me more analytical skills which I intend to help me with my undergraduate studies. I am still unsure what career path is the right one for me but I understand History opens a vast amount of doors because of the skills I will acquire and I am considering progressing to post-graduate studies to gain a masters in this field. In addition, I have plans to study abroad which will broaden my cultural understanding and awareness.
My key extra-curricular activities are focused on dancing where I act as a role model and mentor the younger students at the dance school as well as attending classes myself. The skills I have gained, for example, teamwork and independence, would make me a very suitable candidate for university life and I intend to continue this hobby in an appropriate society at your institution.
I was proud to be appointed Head Girl at my secondary school which evidences how I am a committed student and extremely reliable. Being Head Girl gave me confidence in public speaking and I learnt strong presentation skills. Carrying out this role evolved me into a responsible person which I believe is a vital aspect of university life.
I believe this shows that I would quickly settle in and get involved in University life which would make me highly suited to undergraduate studies.
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