In this guest blog, Sam Turner from Become (with help from current and former care-experienced students) talks through the considerations for care leavers writing their personal statements. Become is the national charity for children in care and young care leavers and run the Propel website for care-experienced learners interested in higher education.
Personal statements are exactly what they say on the tin – personal! The decision to mention your experiences in care is ultimately yours, and it’s all about what feels comfortable and what’s most important for you as an individual. Here’s some advice to help you with the decision.
First of all, don’t worry!
We speak with lots of care-experienced applicants each year who are worried about feeling judged or stigmatised, especially if they’ve...
Why you want to study the subject(s) you’re applying for? Remember - expand on your reasons and evidence this e.g. has a particular area/topic caught your attention? Have you undertaken work experience/placements/EPQs/tasters to broaden your knowledge and understanding?
Why should universities choose you? What have you got to offer? Demonstrate your motivation and enthusiasm. Showcase your skillset.
What else do you do? Part-time work/ Volunteering? Hobbies/interests? Responsibilities? Other achievements?
Tip: When reviewing your statement, ask yourself – why am I putting this information in my personal statement and what is it telling the person reading it?
Your personal circumstances
Your experience of estrangement may have had a massive impact on your studies. Pragmatically, there may be skills/experiences that you could draw on when talking about...
Applying to university is challenging and can feel pretty overwhelming. There is so much to think about when you are whittling down your choices to those universities and colleges that are the best fit for you.
You may be applying to higher education at university or college without the support from your parents and maybe also your wider family due to a permanent and irreconcilable breakdown in your relationship with them. Either you are already living independently without any contact with parents and maybe also other close family members, i.e. you are ‘estranged’ from family, or this is likely to be your situation once you leave school or college. If so, you may be wondering about things like: how to finance your studies, where you will live, how to make friends and fit in, as well as how to make sure you keep yourself safe from unwanted contact and interference from your parents/family, and how to manage your mental health and wellbeing.
Feeling homesick whilst attending university in the UK is an entirely normal feeling. You are probably moving out of your family home for the first time, living with new people and often living in a country you’ve never visited before. For some, homesickness is just missing your home and family in the first week, but for others it can affect their mental health.
Luckily, for many these feelings will pass and you will soon be too busy with new friends and classes to feel homesick, but here are some tips on how to deal with homesickness.
Find a restaurant that serves food from your country
It may take you some time to adjust to new foods and eating habits and everyone, no matter where they come from , misses their mother’s cooking. Fortunately, the UK is a multicultural country and you should have no trouble finding a restaurant that serves all your favourite dishes. If not, cook something you miss from home and share it with your new friends....
If you have chosen to share a flat or house with new people when you start university, or are moving into student accommodation and are feeling a bit anxious about getting to know new people here are some tips to help you get started.
When you move in make sure you introduce yourself. If you are moving into student dorms, then leave your room door ajar. This will signal your moving in and people can pop their head in and say hello! Equally you will see people and can make the first move by introducing yourself.
Remember everyone is nervous and some people are shy so be brave and make the first move!
Make a cup of tea
We have a saying in the UK that a cup of tea makes everything better, so offer to make everyone a nice “cuppa” with a side serving of biscuits and you’ll be well on your way to making new friends. This is a gentle way of sparking a conversation because you can ask how people...
Freshers Week is the ultimate introduction to student life in the UK. The first week is a great way to meet new people, trying new things and sign up for activities.
Here are six things you should do during fresher’s week:
1.Attend the freshers fair
If you only go to one event during fresher’s weeks, it should be the freshers fair. This fair will have representatives from student societies, local businesses that offer jobs, companies that offer products, and services that you might be interested in as well as local voluntary groups that you can join.
Have a look around and collect information on things that will be useful and of interest to you. It can be overwhelming, with lots of people asking you to sign up with them and lots of information thrown at you. Take the leaflets to read when you get home, they will all contain social...
If you are considering studying in the UK here are five reasons why you should.
1.High quality learning
The UK has a long history of providing world-class education and UK universities generally rank high in international university league tables and attract some of the world’s best academics.
British universities are globally known for helping students refine their critical and creative thinking skills and arming them with skills and experiences that will help them succeed in their chosen career.
Furthermore, UK universities offer specialised degrees, even at an undergraduate level. This is ideal if you don’t want to wait until postgraduate level before specialising in a field of study.
To be seen or not to be seen, that is the question when deciding between a university with small class sizes and a university with large class sizes
Applying for university is an exciting time in any person’s life, however choosing the right university can be very daunting. There are so many factors to consider when choosing where to apply. Are you choosing for sports clubs, for social societies, or for small or large class sizes and being known by a name not a number?
I have had the opportunity to study at a big university with large class sizes (approximately 300 students per class) and I currently attend a smaller university with small classes (approximately 70 students per class). In all honesty, each of them has given me a different experience and should not...
If you are an international student coming to study in the UK, your first day at university can be a little overwhelming so here are some tips for to get your through your first day.
How do I enrol?
Before you can start at university, you will need to enrol for your course. Every university has a slightly different way of doing this, but you will get an email or letter informing you of what steps you should take. Generally, in August you will be emailed your username and passwords, alongside instructions on how to access the registration area of your university website. It is important to complete pre-registration before your first day at university.
This has been a year like no other for young people receiving their results. As always, Skills Development Scotland’s Results Helpline will provide dedicated support when it opens on Tuesday 4th August.
Our Results Helpline offers advice, information and guidance for young people and their parents and carers from 8am on Results day.
Around 138,000 candidates across Scotland will receive their National, Higher and Advanced Higher results from SQA. SDS’s expert advisers will be on hand to discuss options and next steps including:
University and college courses
Confirmation and Clearing
Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships
The number to call is 0808 100 8000 and the Helpline is open on August 4th and 5th from 8am to 8pm, August 6th and 7th from 9am-5pm and August 10th to 12th from 9am-5pm....