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Interests and hobbies and achievements

Discussion in 'Personal Statements and UCAS forms' started by xalicex, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. xalicex

    xalicex New Member

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    Hey, this may be a stupid question but I am quite stuck on it at the moment!

    I have plenty of volunteer work and I've written about my interest in science and so on in my statement...talking about the reasons for why I want to do medicine etc.

    However, I'm struggling when it comes to interests and hobbies and achievements. I have done the usual reading and I also play the clarinet, but achievement wise...I don't think I have anything! I am not sporty and I never did Duke of Edinburgh, so I don't know what to say! The only achievement I can think of is academic (I got the best mark in the year for my chemistry coursework) but otherwise, my extra curricular achievements are pretty poor.

    Any advice or suggestions?
    x
     
  2. cat_bach

    cat_bach New Member

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    Is there any thing you take particular interest in- politics, art, drama ect could you mention? The impression I ve always gotten is that admissions just want to see that there is a extra-curricular side to you, that you do have ways to let your hair down rather than evidence of you "acheving" anything such as awards or qualifications. So you dont need to be able to say that you play hockey for your country, just saying that you enjoy going for a walk or take an interest in modern art or something will be enough. They will assume that your sufficiently academic- you just need something to show that there`s more than academia to you.
     
  3. Fried_Rice

    Fried_Rice New Member

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    Have you played anywhere in particular with your clarinet, or done well in terms of music?
     
  4. Fried_Rice

    Fried_Rice New Member

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    Grades achieved in music could be an extra-curricular achievement.
     
  5. Rosebot

    Rosebot New Member

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    have you ever taken part in anything school based eg young enterprise, something to do with harvest festival, taking food parcels to the elderly, fund raising for a charity etc
    or taking part in any sponsered events or done something challenging like a walk or run?
    im sure you have sone some extra curricular stuff you probably just dont realise it counts
     
  6. xalicex

    xalicex New Member

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    Um, clarinet grade 6- i have it down.

    I always feel like my academic stuff counts. I have also been a form prefect but I haven't done much on the organising front!

    And I have had the opportunity to do plenty of work experience and volunteer work and I have a part time job.

    It's just I got feedback from Leeds last year and I got low marks on extra curricular and I am looking for things!

    x
     
  7. Rosebot

    Rosebot New Member

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    try taking up a new hobby then starting over the summer
    how about like swimming or something less sporty if you hate sport such as starting a book club or something once a week with some friends? then you can say something along the lines of "a new hobby i have recently taken up is ____. it helps me relax in times of stress/it gives me opportunities to take part in an activity i would not previously have experienced on a regular basis and i hope to continue building on my interest at university"
    dont make it a fake hobby just for your ucas form though
    it has to be something you're genuinely interested in else it will show at interview
    i think waterstones run some book club evenings if that was your sort of thing. Or you could take up knitting or something similar
     
  8. Lahola

    Lahola New Member

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    say u go 2 church. hope this helps.
     
  9. Rosebot

    Rosebot New Member

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    yeh but dont lie
     
  10. Gizmo says -

    Gizmo says - New Member

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    no interests?? lol

    why live ?
     
  11. xalicex

    xalicex New Member

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    lol- I sound like a boring soul :p But yes, I do have interests, like the clarinet and I also read and jog and go to the cinema and bake...but I'm just unsure how to talk about them... because baking a cake that tastes like a malteser isn't really a major achievement :p

    It sounds awful but because I dedicated 90% of my time to my A-level stuff this year, everything else that I enjoyed got pushed out of the picture. (Kinda sad lol)

    But thank you
    (And I don't go to church so that is a no lol)
    x
     
  12. Mistymaple

    Mistymaple New Member

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    I didn't do the DoE, and I'm not sporty either! Don't worry!

    Try bulking out your personal statement with your work experience and voluntary work instead, and just use a paragraph near the end for hobbies etc. A paragraph on your voluntary work and what you learnt from it will probably stand out much more than just writing "My hobbies include blah... blah..." like loads of other people will do.

    Watch out with taking up a new hobby just for your personal statement... they may ask you about it in interview and you'd be stuck :s

    Hope this helps, good luck!
     
  13. Zack

    Zack New Member

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    You can always expand on your existing hobbies, twist them torward the right targets. Like baking for example - that's pretty creative. You talk about how it relaxes you: something that gets your mind off academics and gives your an outlet. That ticks the 'has an outlet and therefore won't lose it halfway through their third year' box.

    Likewise, music is always good for pretty much the same reasons, as is jogging. Talking about your emotional response to music and books is a good way of telling them you're not some kind of academic robot with the empathetic understanding of a turnip.

    If you want a good book to read, check out AJ Cronin's 'The Citadel' - it was pretty important in the formation of the NHS and is fiction, which is great because:
    a) It's not a complete snooze-fest.
    and b) If you talk about it in a medical interview, the panel won't pounce and start asking you about the terrifying specifics of liver function because it turned out one of them wrote it and the other two edited.

    Just a couple of tips there - it sounds like you've got plenty to keep you going. Just inflate it. Good luck :D
     
  14. Gizmo says -

    Gizmo says - New Member

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    well then you should work on your bekking skills, macca. its a simple task, notbrain science.
     
  15. rjm

    rjm New Member

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    Talk about your work experience and voluntary work and paid work. As long as you get in key things like team work, leadership, communication, responsibility etc. Then mention the things you do enjoy and simply say that is how you relax. Everyone has to chill out at some point and they want to know you can do that.
     
  16. Dr Noodle

    Dr Noodle New Member

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    Are you kidding? I'd consider that a major achievement! Sounds nice :)
     
  17. xalicex

    xalicex New Member

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    You put some horlicks in the mixture- gives it the malt style taste =D

    Anyway, I know that there must be things that I do to use up my days- so I think if I do talk about the reading and the music and so on, and I expand on why it is important and shows different sides to myself, it should be ok.

    Sorry, reapplicant worrying about little details and things :p
    x
     
  18. Fried_Rice

    Fried_Rice New Member

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    I think the baking thing sounds nice, can you expand on that somehow, take some more cooking classes or something similar, that would make it sound like even more of a 'real' hobby. That was you could expand it to something like 'recently I've expanded my interest in cooking by taking up Chinese cooking through a cooking class' etc etc.

    I know the feeling though, most of the things that I enjoy doing are really not something the universities care about. Waste my life online, watch films, read books and go for walks with my dog etc.
     
  19. shahana

    shahana Guest

    charity/volunteering?
    Travel?

    just make a list of all the possible (however silly) your hobbies are, and then....maybe talk and expand them.

    I play guitar and im nowhere a grade 6, but i wrote 'i take lessons to improve my performance' so i didnt seem like a complete amateur.

    Have you ever performed in school?

    i dont think it matters if you have written your clarinet grade down i qualifications, remember that uni's mark qualifications and personal statement seperately. So talk about it in terms of your hobby.

    good luck.

    i personally did lots of activities in the first year of A-levels because i knew i would have no time for it next year...but that did mean i had to do resits..
     
  20. karakusars

    karakusars New Member

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