Monday, 23 September 2013

It is nearly a week on and I am still struggling with my Personal Statement.

"after I have completed my Journalism degree I would like to go into Journalism"
"after completing my degree in the field of Journalism I would like to do a postgraduate in Journalism"
"when I finish my Journalism degree I'm going to abandon everything and live in Goa as a nudist"

The final paragraph is where it all comes together, only to come to a dramatic halt. Writing about Journalism and taking a degree in the same field kind of hints that Journalism is what I wish to go into (correct, if you hadn't guessed up to this point). So why I have to write about postgraduates and finding work and using all my new found skills is beyond me. I haven't even taken my A2 exams yet - I don't even know if I can actually do a Journalism course until next summer, but I'm already expected to know what I wish to do after I've finished said degree.

Personally, I'm quite happy with the fact I know what I want to do a degree in. At the ripe old age of 17 and a half my concerns are more tailored towards illegally purchasing alcohol and getting home from parties rather than looking at postgraduate average salaries and finding the best degree location in the UK. Although I've known I want to do Journalism for about 4 or 5 years now I hadn't actually started researching and analysing universities until a few months ago. And why not? Because as previously said, I have more pressing concerns. Right now, my main one is actually passing the exams I need to get into university!

I agree that a Personal Statement is important - exam marks are subjective at the best of times and downright ignorant at the worst, but having to fit my future into 4000 characters is never going to be easy and as a result of that I think there should be other methods available for 'testing' (as it isn't called but pretty much should be) for a place. For example, someone could be an amazing musician (sadly not me) but have no writing skills and not get into their university of choice on that basis. Along with this, said musician could have terrible flu on the day of their practical exam and consequently miss their grades on this too.

This makes me wonder where those internet 'buy your Personal Statement online' people come in. Did they gain a degree in this? Did they fail their results and end up missing out on university? Surely it can't have been from a bad Personal Statement if that's what they've resorted to doing for a living. On the other hand, they could just be undernourished students looking for an extra income. We'll never know.

Most universities look for people with flair, or creativity, but fitting that into the boundaries of college experience, 'relevant work experience' and out of college activities require more than flair - more like a blue moon type occasion. It's the issue of fitting everything necessary in but also allowing room to show what you're really like. Being an aspirational Journalism student I should be good at this type of thing however this is where the 'aspirational' part comes in. How am I supposed to apply skills I haven't yet learnt?

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