I have recently been supporting a number of students to complete the Personal Statement part of their UCAS forms. As the next big step towards independence for many young people, what should be a great opportunity, this first step in the University application process can sometimes be really tricky for the young person, their school and the family.
With the deadline of 15th January looming, the pressure is on. The Universities put on fantastic open days and for some students it can be very easy to choose what to study. For other young people having too much choice can be debilitating.
UCAS's advice to students is, your personal statement should include, "what excites you about the course", "what is unique about you", "what skills you have."
This is great advice and necessary. However, the reality is:
Not many young people have ever had the opportunity to think about these questions and don't know how to start answering them.
Many young people are overwhelmed by the course choices available and which would be best for them.
Teachers supporting students in schools do an amazing job to help students. As an independent career coach I have supported many young people making these choices and then putting it into writing (4,000 characters!).
Our advice to students is when completing their forms is:
Don't overthink when you start. Just get words on the paper. You can always refine this as you review it. To start with write the statement as if you were talking to a family member about yourself and the course you want to study.
Put twenty minute slots in your diary to focus on it & leave your phone outside the room during these twenty minutes!
Ask a family member to proof read the statement for you a number of times.
Career Seekers Direct can support students to both identify the 'right fit' course for them and create a Personal Statement that ticks all the UCAS requirements. For more information contact email@example.com or call Eva on 07901 517012