Hi, my question is about my failed applications to Modern Languages in Scotland.
Here's a bit of background about my applications:
I'm interested in languages and good at learning them. I have taught myself French to such a level that I often get mistaken for a native. Just to give a picture: when I took my AH speaking exam the external examiner said to me that my level was better than the levels of people graduating from 5 year French degrees. I have a bit of a gift for languages and have applied this to French - and to Spanish to a lesser albeit significant degree (Italian and Latin too). My language level was exceeding what was necessary to study at a French uni so I went there after finishing school to start a degree in History/ Spanish. I am by no means just a language learning robot and am interested in foreign cultures (literature, anthropology, politics, history, philospohy) both academically and personally. I love to read, learn about people and the world, and think analytically. Unfortunately I had to return from my uni due a severe case of appendicitis and insufficient funds. I'm now looking at French options for postgraduate work.
And here's the info about my current (failed) applications:
In the meantime I am planning to study in Scotland. The unis I applied to were: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, and Stirling. My personal statement I wrote in a rush and - although there are obviously some shortcomings to it - my assessment of it is that it was fairly well written, relevant, expanded, and well rounded. (It included several sections on my current academic interests and I developed these in a way that I thought was within the scope of a PS, also referring to my experience with the Oxford Summer School, a writing project, sports I play, and employment). As for my grades (this gets complicated), I achieved a full round of As at Standard Grade and in two Higher languages one year. The next year I achieved AAA at AS (I had moved countries and then had to drop History due to another move in schools; I had a lot of family stress that year). In my final year, I achieved AAB at AH (I had ongoing family issues that year and endless problems with my school's English department who were, unfortunately, severely incompetent). So I ended up with quite a mix of qualifications, however all with good grades.
Where this leaves me:
I received unconditional offers for the unis of Glasgow and Aberdeen. This was cause for celebration and I was pleased to receive these. I do not particularly wish to attend Aberdeen however as I am personally not a huge fan of the city of Aberdeen. I then received rejections from the unis of St Andrews and Edinburgh. On these occasions I was actually quite disappointed. Although I don't feel 'entitled' to places at either institution, I confess that given my personal talents I was really hoping for offers. I am under the impression that they both have excellent language departments. I'm now struggling with feelings of bitterness that I have been overlooked. In my process of coming to terms with it, I'm searching for explanations as to where I went wrong.
Please share with me, any ideas why I was rejected? Any thoughts about any of these unis? Similar experiences of rejection? Any insights, really! I'm keen to reflect in order to make sense of it and perhaps alter my future approach to applications. I can post up my PS if anyone would take a look. Thanks for reading!