Thousands of students are busily preparing their university applications including the dreaded UCAS statement. As a reflect back, I’m reminded of the challenges I faced during this time in my life. Although there was plenty of guidance regarding the content of a personal statement, I had no idea how to start. Each time I read what I’d written, it felt bland and factual. It lacked inspiration. I couldn’t express my passion for the subject I loved. I didn’t have a clue what I would do with my degree once completed.
So, if someone you know is faced with a similar situation, maybe it’s time to really understand their true motivation for wanting to study their chosen subject. Ask “why study this subject?” and whatever the response, ask “what makes that important to you?” Keep asking this second question until you get a unique and personal response. In my experience, it takes between 5 and 10 questions to get someone to really figure out why they want to study their chosen subject. The answer may be a childhood experience, an ambition, an idea, or something completely unexpected. That doesn’t matter. It’s the reason. It’s where to start the statement and engage the reviewer with something they haven’t read before.