Earth Sciences Personal Statement

I was awestruck by the power of nature for the first time during a visit to the Grand Canyon in 2003. Until the moment when I saw the canyon for the first time, it had been inconceivable to me that a river could leave such a stark and spectacular impression on the earth’s surface. Afterwards, I wanted to learn more about the earth. My mother’s old physical geography textbook taught me about volcanicity; a TV documentary outlined the different types of earthquakes; and an animated guide on the Internet demonstrated how hurricanes form. My curiosity also led to me learning about the central role that physical geography plays in influencing human activity. A section from the book Guns, Germs and Steel really underlined for me how important a part the earth plays in human development. It had never occurred to me before that the Western world’s greater development could be attributed to the length of the Eurasian continent, and a constant climate running across it. My A-Levels in geography, maths and physics have also all furthered my interest in Earth Sciences, with each subject adding to my understanding of the subject in different ways. In maths I integrated a decay curve, which I then learnt could be used to work out the age of rocks and other materials. In physics, lessons about simple harmonic motion soon switched to how pendulums were used as tuned mass dampeners to dissipate the destructive energy of earthquakes in skyscrapers. In 2010 I got my first taste of fieldwork on a trip to the Lake District to study periglaciation. The mix of the outdoors and seeing the actual effects of a glacial process stimulated a higher understanding of the subject for me, and also instilled in me an enthusiasm to carry out fieldwork projects in the future.

Taking a gap year has afforded me the time to mature as a person. Becoming a partner at Waitrose has given me a greater sense of social awareness, as well as giving me the first taste of working life. Working with such a large group of people has encouraged me to improve my teamwork and communication skills. Mastering another language has always been an ambition of mine, and I have been able to pursue this goal over the course of this year. The process of making progress with the language has been very satisfying, and the experience has also allowed me to maintain good study habits during my time away from full-time education. I have also become a personal tutor, a position that I have enjoyed so much that a future career path in teaching seems more attractive every week. In the months before university I will look forward to travelling around some of the world, whilst trying to absorb as much of the local culture as possible.

Football has always been a great passion of mine, whether in the form of watching games, discussing it with friends or playing the game. At secondary school I was on the school team, and I am now in a side with my colleagues. Whilst I have always been pleased with my successes on the pitch, my proudest achievement came in the summer, just before my A2 exams, when my friends and I successfully raised over £1,000 for a small school in the Anti-Atlas mountain range. We had founded a charity at the beginning the academic year for this purpose, in which I held the position of treasurer. We decided to set up the charity after visiting the school the year before and being touched by the impoverished conditions that the pupils and staff there faced. The whole experience reinforced in me the sense of how important education is, especially when so many people out there have no access to schools or educational materials.

I hope that my time at university will be rewarding and fulfilling, and allow me to meet many new unique and dynamic people. I also hope that it will set me on the path for a bountiful career in earth sciences, during which I will travel to many new places, and eventually teach a new generation of young minds.