Personal statement: How to bring colour, life and orginality to your personal statement
When an admissions tutor reads your personal statement you want them to sit up and take notice. But, how do you do that? One way is by bringing colour, life and orginality to your writing.
However, this can be really tough, especially when you've studied the same A-Level syllabus as thousands of other applicants all over the country. So, other than further reading, what can you do?
Well, one thing you can do is get out and about and experience aspects of the subject that you want to study for real.
To show you what I mean I went on day-trip to Stratford On Avon to learn more about the life of William Shakespeare and get a feeling of what it was like to live in Tudor times.
Watch the video to see what my day-trip to Stratford was like.
Video: My day trip to Stratford on Avon
Things I learned on my trip to Stratford
- In Shakespeare's birthplace I went into Shakespeare's father's workshop. Now, I'd never really thought about the word ‘workshop' before but being in this room really brought it to life. It was the room where Shakespeare's father worked, making gloves, but it also served as a shop. He would serve customers through the window. So, the two words ‘work' and ‘shop' were added together to make the word ‘workshop'.
- The workshop also gave me an insight into the phrase ‘window shopping'. Shakespeare's father served all his customers through the window rather than inviting them into the room where he was working. This is where the phrase ‘window shopping' came from.
- In Tudor times the mattresses on beds were supporting by ropes strung between the wooden bedframe. If the mattress wasn't thick enough people would have an uncomfortable night with ropes digging into their backs – waking up in the morning feeling ropey!
- There are only five examples of Shakespeare's signature – three of them are in his will.
I learned so much more. But, it's this kind of individual insight that you can bring to your personal statement when you've been somewhere and experienced it for real.
Planning your own day out
I used the Shakespeare Trail from British History Tours to plan my day in Stratford. The downloadable guide gave me lots of background information about the places you could visit to understand more about Shakespeare's life as well as practical guidance on which tickets to buy. It also covers sites related to Shakespeare in London. It's a great starting point for your day out discovering more about Shakespeare. British History Tours also offers guided trails on many other eras in history in other parts of the country.
Over to you: Where are you going to add colour to your personal statement?
Leave a comment below telling me what you want to study at university and telling me about a day trip you could go on to add colour, life and originality to your personal statement.
Don't forget to check out my advice page on how to apply to university – it covers everything from open days to personal statements.