Applying to uni: Writing your personal statement 

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing some articles all about applying to university. 

So today I’m going to start with something that I feel is one of the most important steps in getting into university: your personal statement. 

What is a personal statement? 

Your personal statement is a bit like a CV, it’s a way for the universities to get an idea of who you are, not just on an a academic level but on a personal one too. 

What do you write about in a personal statement? 

In your personal statement you should write about why you are applying for that specific course, your ambitions for university and beyond, what excites you about the subject and the course, why you want to go to higher education. 

You should also have sections on what makes you a good caditatde for an offer, the  relevant skills, experience or achievements gained from education, work or other activities such as extra curricular. 

It is important to talk about the main extra curricular activities in your life because it enable the university to see what else you have to offer. For example, I spoke about my skill in equestrianism and how this helped me in other parts of my life. 

How do you structure a personal statement? 

Start of by preparing a list of key achievements in both academic and everyday life that you would like to talk about and then extend this by stating how this will benefit you as a student. 

Then when you start writing, relate everything back to how it will influence your studies on a specific course. An example from my own personal statement was my ability to read and write music helped me when it came to logical mathematics questions because I found that the patterns in maths and music showed similarities. 

Your introduction should be short but sweet, starting with a welcoming opening sentence. 

Then progress into talking about academic achievements, these should make up the majority of your statement. The general rule is about 70% academic and 30% extra carricular, but this is not exact and varies depending on the person. 

Follow this up by a section on your extra carricular hobbies and achievements. These don’t have to be as long but still relate to the course. 

Finally conclude with a hope for the future and how studying that specific course will help you achieve that. Relay your enthusiasm and passion for this subject, that’s what admissions want to see! Someone who is in love with the course they have chosen, who they know will work hard and enjoy themselsves. 

Once you’ve made the first draft check through for grammar and spelling mistakes, then hand out copies to your family and friends to get their advice. Once you have done that take it to your tutor or advisor and get them to read it before sending it off to ucas. 

The personal statement is alaways 47 lines, 4000 characters long. So you may have to cut things back and drop some things all together but that’s ok, because as long as you feel you have conveyed yourself in the way you want the university will get the idea. 

I hope this has helped! If anyone had any questions or wants advice on writing a personal statement please message me on Instagram @lottietrewick or email me at ce.trewick@gmail.com. For an example of my personal statement that got me into my dream university please don’t hesitate to email me! 

Lottie x 

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10 Side Jobs for Students 

There is one thing most students have in common, the struggle to make ends meet and still get all your university work done on time… so here are my top 10 side jobs for students who are both strapped for cash and time! 

1. Tutoring 

Tutoring is a great way to make money and keep past subjects fresh in your mind. You can work through tutoring companies of work freelance, finding tutees on sites like tutorhunt.com. The pay is good per hour and you can work as much or as little as you want in a week. 

2. Start a blog 

A popular side job for students (like myself) is to start a blog and build it up so that you can make money through advertising, selling your own books/ products, or even just the recongnition is enough to get people work in other media businesses. It’s also a great outlet for a stressed student! 

3. Start a YouTube Channel 

Similar to starting a blog, starting a YouTube channel is another great way to make some money on top of your studies as well as being a platform to create and connect with other people in the same fields as you. 

4. Freelance photography 

A common side job amongst my friends is doing freelance photography. This can be in any field but the most profitable seem to be in wedding/ event photography. This is especially good in London as there are a huge variety of events on most of the year round. 

5. House sitter 

This one is more for saving money then making a profit, but a lot of people (especially in London) do not want their house to look empty whilst they are away. This is where the house sitter comes in, you live in their house for the period that the owners are away, you get to use all the facilities the house offers for free and sometimes they even leave you extra money for food or as a king gesture. This saves on hefty rent prices and means you get to live in some fantastic houses all for free! 

6. Campus jobs 

A lot of universities provide jobs on campus, such asambassadoring or working in the college library. These tend to pay  well, due to the hours being short and the uni understanding most of their students struggle for money! 

7. Start a basic clothing company 

This one takes a bit more planning, but if it goes right can pay off massively! But in basic tshirst from a wholesaler such as fruit of the loom and get your own logo printed on them, then try and sell them around campus, through social media such as Instagram or on sites such a depop or eBay. Although the start up cost is higher than some of the others listed, it could pay back in double if it goes well. 

8. Get creative 

I’ve left this one vauge because there are a lot of options to be chosen. For example, you could make prints and sell them online, buy old furniture and renovate it, design occasion cards, make your own jewellery to sell… and the list goes on and on! But it is something you can do when you have the time, that if done with skill can turn over a pretty penny. 

9. Write a book 

Now I know this one is a bit long winned, but once again it could pay off greatly if it turns out to be a best seller. The book could be anything, fiction or non-fiction, recipie or fantasy. Start it off as a hobby and see where it takes you. 

10. Gym instructor 

The final side job for today takes a bit of training, say 6 weeks over your summer so you can get a qualification. But after that you can teach classes as a freelance instructor, with flexiable hours and a good pay in London it’s a great way to stay fit and earn money! 

I hope this can help some of you out there to make an extra penny whilst you study. 

Lottie x