The weight of School Contribution on a Personal Statement?

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LouieSax
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Hey guys
I made a similar post earlier but I just want to see what everyone else thinks. I have handed in my first draft of my personal statement to two of my lecturers at college and they have both said that I should include my school contribution on my personal statement i.e. being a prefect, librarian, Class Representative and volunteering at my Schools Unit.

So my question is, is it worth including these things on my personal statement?
How important are they to an application?

By the way I am applying to study Occupational Therapy in University
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LouieSax
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(Original post by chloetiv)
I have included it on mine, I am applying to the same course Not as important as care experience etc but if you have space I would!
do you know if we can abbreviate to OT? I'm struggling with the character limit! Which uni's are you applying to?
In terms of abbreviations, I've seen it be done on personal statements previously and universities accepted them so I don't see why not. However, I would definitely check with your lecturers first
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by chloetiv)
I have included it on mine, I am applying to the same course Not as important as care experience etc but if you have space I would!
do you know if we can abbreviate to OT? I'm struggling with the character limit! Which uni's are you applying to?
Don't abbr.
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LouieSax
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(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
Don't abbr.
But does the school contribution such as being a prefect etc. add much value to your personal statement and application. I'm a bit worried as I believe that some of my lecturers aren't giving the best advice :/
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Good bloke
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(Original post by LouieSax)
But does the school contribution such as being a prefect etc. add much value to your personal statement and application. I'm a bit worried as I believe that some of my lecturers aren't giving the best advice :/
Call me cynical but the only possible way teachers can persuade pupils to take on such chores as supervising the picking up of litter and supervising junior pupils is to dress them up as responsibilities and to tell them that such things will look well on their personal statements. If any university admissions tutor genuinely thinks these things are an important contribution to a university application I'll eat my hat.

The personal statement is a piece of formal writing. You must have been taught, even in these times of degraded language teaching (when even younger teachers have no idea of spelling and grammar), that abbreviation has no place in formal writing.
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LouieSax
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Call me cynical but the only possible way teachers can persuade pupils to take on such chores as supervising the picking up of litter and supervising junior pupils is to dress them up as responsibilities and to tell them that such things will look well on their personal statements. If any university admissions tutor genuinely thinks these things are an important contribution to a university application I'll eat my hat.

The personal statement is a piece of formal writing. You must have been taught, even in these times of degraded language teaching (when even younger teachers have no idea of spelling and grammar), that abbreviation has no place in formal writing.
Right. I'm not really bothered about abbreviations personally because I've written mine without anyway. But thank you for the help with the school contribution part, everyone is telling me different things and its super confusing at the moment. Thank you so much for the help
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Pectorac
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(Original post by LouieSax)
Right. I'm not really bothered about abbreviations personally because I've written mine without anyway. But thank you for the help with the school contribution part, everyone is telling me different things and its super confusing at the moment. Thank you so much for the help
They won't really care about school contributions. Thousands upon thousands of applicants are prefects, head of X school club, help at school events, etc and it doesn't make anybody stand out. You should stick to writing about occupational therapy and what experience or observations you have in the field, and what you've learnt from them. Do you know what occupational therapists do in hospitals, the community in people's homes, etc? That will be much more important than things so many other people feel forced to write about, probably very badly.
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returnmigrant
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Its only worth including is its relevant to the course for which you are applying, or if you can use it for evidence of your maturity/engagement beyond school.

So, 'I attend ballet classes every Saturday' isnt relevant unless you are applying for performing arts. But 'I work in an Oxfam shop every Saturday' can be used to show an awareness of social issues, commitment to voluntary work/completing a task, ability to get on with different sorts of people, team work etc etc if explained sensibly.

Despite the private school obsession with what they like to term 'positions of responsibility', Unis are not impressed with this. It doesn't tell them anything about you as an individual besides your ability to walk around with a badge pinned to your left-nipple. Many schools either don't have this archaic nonsense anymore, or the 6th form is so big your chances of getting this sort of halo are minimal, and Unis have no way of knowing how/why you got the job, so its usually totally disregarded.

Concentrate on things that you do outside school - that is usually far more noteworthy, and usually says far more about you. A Saturday job or voluntary work in an Old People's Home, Special School - that is what they are looking for, not someone who ran the school Tuck Shop.
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by returnmigrant)
It doesn't tell them anything about you as an individual besides your ability to walk around with a badge pinned to your left-nipple. .
PRSOM
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Carnationlilyrose
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Some reliable members have got there before me. Being a prefect is a pointless addition to your ps imho.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
Some reliable members have got there before me. Being a prefect is a pointless addition to your ps imho.

Thus spake a teacher who has, many a time, been implicit in persuading young people into supervising litter collection, though possibly not by telling them how valuable it will be for their personal statements.
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Thus spake a teacher who has, many a time, been implicit in persuading young people into supervising litter collection, though possibly not by telling them how valuable it will be for their personal statements.
I sincerely hope you are not implying that I have done any such thing, or I will have to regard our friendship as terminated.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
I sincerely hope you are not implying that I have done any such thing, or I will have to regard our friendship as terminated.

Hehe I am quite certain you have less dishonest and more straightforward methods of achieving the same ends.
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Hehe I am quite certain you have less dishonest and more straightforward methods of achieving the same ends.
Yes, I do. "Pick that litter up." "Write a sensible and appropriate statement applying for university without filling it full of irrelevant crap."
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
Yes, I do. "Pick that litter up." "Write a sensible and appropriate statement applying for university without filling it full of irrelevant crap."
Hmm My own approach wouldn't be too dissimilar.
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Hmm My own approach wouldn't be too dissimilar.
It works, so why change it?
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
It works, so why change it?

Quite.
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by LouieSax)
Hey guys
I made a similar post earlier but I just want to see what everyone else thinks. I have handed in my first draft of my personal statement to two of my lecturers at college and they have both said that I should include my school contribution on my personal statement i.e. being a prefect, librarian, Class Representative and volunteering at my Schools Unit.

So my question is, is it worth including these things on my personal statement?
How important are they to an application?

By the way I am applying to study Occupational Therapy in University
You can give it a slight mention if you feel that it is really necessary or you would regret not putting it in - after all it is your personal statement.

For vocational healthcare courses, they really aren't important. Vocational PS' are very different to academic ones and usually academically trained staff aren't aware of this. If you're going to give it a small mention, you should focus on the skills that this position has helped you to develop and then explicitly state how these would make you a good OT.

Volunteering and work experience are usually the main focus of OT personal statements, however don't mean anything to application tutors unless you can demonstrate how these would either help you on your degree or placements, or once you've qualified.

If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me
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ticktack
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I've just started my P.S. now and I am under the impression that it should be about things you do outside of school as it is a way to show uni that you are a self motivated student rather than a get it on a plate sort of person. I found the template and description on helpwithpersonalstatement.co.uk useful but who still owns post it notes!!
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returnmigrant
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Charlotte49 makes very good points above - in particular the importance of relevant work experience for any healthcare course. What you need to demonstrate is that you are aware of the reality of the demands of this job - ie. this is about far more than 'I want to go to Uni', you have to show that you have had enough experience/exposure to this work to be making an informed career decision. This is why I'm suggesting you get some work in somewhere like an Old People's Home or a Special School. You need to show that you are capable, practically and emotionally, of dealing with people with a disability/health issue. This is what will be the clincher in your application, not 'helping out in the Library'. You have time to get this organised - or to consider a gap year where you work full-time - before applying to Uni.
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