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History personal statement example 1
“Everything has a History, whether we like it or not. No matter how hard we try we cannot escape the past we can’t, especially as its influence is all around us. To many people studying the past has little value in the modern world, I beg to differ I think there is virtually no occasion in life when the study of History is irrelevant. To me History matters because not only does it reveal the past, it can also show us how our society developed to where it is today and just as importantly it can help us to shape the future in a positive way.
I believe that History is more than just a lesson in the stupidity and cruelty of monarchs, aristocrats, industrialists and generals. It’s about learning of all the good as well as bad things that have happened previously and then trying to draw lessons from these events. Imagine for a second what would happen if we stopped teaching History to our children. How would they know about where they came from, how their country was developed and what to compare the future to. Would they know what historical events to celebrate and why, would they have any heroes who could be role models for them.
My curiosity has on many occasions led me to look into those periods that were of interest to me. I soon discovered that I had an acute lack of historical knowledge, facts and interpretations, particularly on periods that I was keen on. The only way to rectify this was to study the subject at college, which is exactly what I did.
After enrolling at college I soon learnt that there is more to History than memorising dates, places and people’s names. Lectures were aimed at giving us a broad overview of the period we were researching and there was a lot of focus on content, which helped me to understanding what different historians have said about a particular period or issue. This last point was important as I got more than just a one sided view of major events.
At college I found that History can also be even greater fun if you had good tutors. They can point you in the right direction, highlight really interesting facts and help you save a considerable amount of time by showing you effective studying techniques. At the time my own personal interest was in the period of monasticism in the 11th century right up to the French Revolution and Napoleon.
Apart from the diversity and depth of the subject there are a number of reasons why I want to study History. Firstly I want to discover how people, societies and institutions have changed and, perhaps more importantly, why. Secondly I feel there are many ways in which it can help us learn from our past mistakes, although this is strictly speaking not true most of the time. Otherwise today we would not have any war, poverty or injustice in the world, but I live in hope. Thirdly it is an enjoyable and thought-provoking field where we can clearly see the trials and errors that humanity has made through the ages and use them to put everything in the current world into perspective.
All my experiences to date have made me feel that I am now ready to enrol on a History course at your university. I have a proven ability to write lengthy, constructive and balanced essays on major historical events whilst accurately referencing chapters from books, and articles. I can source, read and understand key information. I have also come to understand that there is a lot of debate in History, and part of what you do as a student of History is to try and make sense of the many arguments you are presented with. I have proven myself on numerous occasions in these discussions where I have successfully held my own and put across my perspective in a articulate and concise manner.
Your universities library provision for History is simply amazing, at times it feels like I’m inside a historical museum rather than a university department building. Your institution also has many historical societies that I would love to join. They would be an excellent place to make new friends and also meet like minded people with similar academic and social interest to mine. Your course structure is very impressive and I image undergraduates will be spoilt for choice because there are so many different areas to choose from. In conclusion I feel that your course structure and modules would give me an ideal learning experience and your facilities are tailor made for my requirements.”
History personal statement example 2
“History was always my most favourite subject at school so deciding on it as a degree was easy. This along with my previous academic experience at college has widened my perceptions of the subject and given me an appetite for more learning.
To become a good historian you need genuine passion for the subject and must also find it interesting and enjoyable, I am happy to say that I posses all of these emotions. It can at times be a very demanding subject to learn, however it is also equally rewarding and satisfying.
Through my experience as a college student I have developed as a person and learnt many key life skills which will be invaluable to me in the future. I gained a broader perspective of the historical investigation techniques and research skills needed to reconstruct the past in finer detail. I have also gained important skills of analysis, synthesis and crucially improved my confidence in my own abilities.
Over the summer I joined a work experience scheme where I spent time on a voluntary basis at a local primary school, assisting children with their reading skills. Becoming a teacher in the future is one of my career options, so this has been an excellent opportunity for me to gain some real practical knowledge of a possible future job.
After visiting your university on an open day and experiencing the campus vibe and friendly atmosphere, I realised this was the university for me. The choices you get on the course at your university simply aren’t matched by many other universities. I also want to say that I was also greatly impressed by your highly regarded and enthusiastic lecturers who seem to specialise in most eras of history.”
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