I am on Year 12 with very good grades and I'm planning on attending a really good university (like Manchester or UCL). I want to study astrophysics and I was just wondering that I have been doing enough extracurricular activities that will be beneficial for my personal statement in order to get accepted. They are:
-A football team that I participated on from my school
-I've also been a tutor for GCSE students on Maths and Physics
-I also write articles on Astronomy and Physics and how they relate for my school.
-I go to the gym (don't know if this one counts)
-I did a lot of community service in Germany, Tanzania and Portugal (I was with a group of people and I did this on holidays)
-And I have been planning on participating on a music club as I love playing the violin.
I'm worried that most of these are not very qualified for such universities because I read that they accept student that have acted like leaders, which I haven't (except for the tutoring part which I don't know).
My family has always been troubled with financial problems (Volunteering abroad was paid by a community of ours) and I live in Portugal, so it is a country which doesn't have a lot of opportunities on Astronomy and Astrophysics. I was wondering if I should state this in my personal statement.
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- Thread Starter
- 29-03-2016 20:09
- 29-03-2016 20:27
I wouldn't stress too much about it tbh. For top Unis they're more interested in the academic side over extra-curricular activities (only about 1/4 max??) It's more about if you have a particular interest in an area of astrophysics, what have you done to further that and find out more; what books have you read about it; own research; how it links to any hobbies etc? You could link the violin to waves etc for the physics side? The tutoring and articles would also be good here. The other stuff is good for showing you're a well rounded person 😄 That's the strategy I took anyway and got 5 Russell group offers(not for physics though haha)! Hope that helps at all?
- 29-03-2016 20:38
Well I applied for Manchester for 2016 entry and got an offer If I meet the grades I'll hopefully be starting there in September.
I think what you've got there is great! I mentioned mentoring on my personal statement- I wrote about how explaining the topics helped me with my understanding or something like that. And I play a musical instrument and I wrote about how having hobbies like that helped me with my time management skills which is an important skill at uni. I don't think you need to say about how you feel that there aren't a lot of opportunities for you because it looks like you've done a lot, also don't write negative things on there.
I think it will be fine, good luck!
- 30-03-2016 11:13
It really doesn't matter. You get all this advise (normally American influences) about how you need to do lots of different activities and whatnot but the only things that are going to make any difference are things related to physics.
You read a physics book and you enjoyed it. Why? You competed in the physics Olympiad. How did you find it? Ect
I remember being told by an admissions tutor a while back about how he doesn't give a crap if you swim on the national team and play 8 different instruments all at the same time. You're just wasting space on your statement where you're not trying to convince then that you love you're chosen subject. Admittedly, all admissions will be a but different but I've not heard of people getting rejected due to not good enough extracurricular things in the UK.