Written by Abigail
BSc (Hons) Psychology
When applying for university your personal statement is there to help place you above the other candidates, make you stand out and is really there to show off your skills, some personality, and your past qualifications to show why you should be picked over another person.
As much as it may feel weird to write things nice about yourself, explaining why you should be given the opportunity to attend a university over another person, it’s something you should take seriously. Even though you may not like it, it’s really one of those things that reads better if it’s been well thought out . Nothing is worse than ignoring it until you have to write it and you can only find one or two relevant skills/hobbies about yourself while others are struggling with having too many words.
Extra curriculum activities are the perfect thing to help expand your statement and show the university why you should be offered a place onto the course of your choice. There are thousands of applications every year and unfortunately, many of them may have very similar backgrounds to you eg same A- levels or equivalent & similar grades. So what’s really going to set you apart and make you stand out!? It’s not just about saying you have the skills, but being able to demonstrate how you’ve put them into practice.
A true story: My friend applied for a place at a university but so had a large group of her friends from school (the same course too). They had all taken the same A-levels and were all predicted similar grades but it was my friend who got an offer. It turned out that all her extra curriculum commitments in Girl Guiding secured her a space.
So what can you put on your personal statement? There are so many different opportunities to help broaden your personal statement, it would be near impossible to not find one suited to you! I of course would recommend Guiding or Scouting (because I love it). It is an amazing opportunity to learn new skills, qualifications and you don’t have to take the responsibilities of a leader if you don’t want to! You could consider:
- Language activities
- Tutoring/ mentoring
If you are in the position where you want something like a scientific course, but have am interest in football but don’t feel like its a relent enough hobby to attend to add to your statement, you couldn’t be more wrong! Just being involved in a football club can show commitment, great team work and dedication, organisation skills, even time management and more! Every extra curriculum activities is relevant, you simply need to consider how you can apply the skills you have learnt onto your course!
If you’re interested in finding some extra curriculum activities that suit you, talk to your educational institution for any opportunities they have available such as clubs, societies, volunteer opportunities, etc. or even look into your local charities, Girl Guiding, music services, drama, cooking, environmental clean-ups and I could list so much more but it would take far too long! Even the smallest, one time commitment, can make all the difference so make every moment count.
There are also some great personal statement tips on UCAS.