Here is my personal statement; I am applying elsewhere for the second year, so it is a bit different from my first one.
I consider myself lucky. I am lucky to live in Europe, owing to my parents who left Iraq in 1993. I am lucky to be able to access the wide world of Web 2.0, which previous generations and some third-world people are still unable to utilize due to technical and financial barriers. I am lucky to be able to write this statement, which might later allow me to start a new page in life.
My two gap years have taught me not to take those rights for granted. On my first year I travelled to Cuba. This experience made me appreciate new liberalism despite its downsides when compared to a communist regime, which made global interaction hard for Cubans. Afterwards I travelled to Dubai on my own and felt lucky again. There I saw the inequality between genders in daily life. That increased my interest to women's rights. The theme has been consequential to me since I have lived my whole life in Finland but still been brought up in a Middle Eastern way. Some of the women similar to me might think their background prevents them from getting the same rights as occidental women have, so one of my aspirations for the future is to work with those women and ameliorate their assertiveness.
Indeed I needed to work to pay my journeys, so I did everything from being a cashier to teaching street dance and promoting events. What I learned was tolerance and openness when it comes to new challenges. Promoting events with youth organization developed my organizational skills and to cope with pressure. It also gave me the joy of seeing tangibly how my work brought people together and made them participate. The City Council assigned 6 people to arrange events to increase interaction between the young and elder population and to get them active during the summer. I had the privilege to be a part of the implementation group.
During High School I was the President of Students' Union for two years. Together with vice-chairman we represented our school in Finland's High School Union Conference to discuss pupil rights and prospective improvements. Moreover, I got approved for an international program to upgrade cooperation between High Schools around Europe. I also had the chance of giving a speech in a demonstration outside Town Hall of Lahti. Main point was to get jobs for unemployed students.
On my leisure time I wrote a few articles covering topics from criticizing the system of immigrant education to writing about student life in general to the newspapers of Southern Finland. One of the greatest principles of Democracy is the freedom of press, because it enables you to question the system itself without fearing the consequence. Currently I assist my father with a human rights project for women in Turkey by visualizing his representations; slogans, frames and pictures make them influential. The goal is to spread education and to bring Scandinavian healthcare standards into configurations of Turkey with the help of Finnish information and engineering.
This year I was given a lifetime opportunity that I am still truly grateful from. However, my current study environment does not challenge me enough; people around me are not motivated, which is astounding for someone used to Finnish education standards. As I did not have the chance to apply for Russell Group Universities last year, I now ask for a second chance that everyone deserves. I am ready to do whatever it takes to achieve my goals in life, but that is hard without being in a University where I can truly take my potential to its fullest. Despite my young age, I know exactly what I want, and I love my subject with all my heart. To improve comprehension between genders and cultures, I first need to achieve full understanding of international order, after which it is easier to make a change and avoid the mistakes of past generations. I desire that after these words I could be lucky enough to acquire further knowledge of politics and international relations at Your University.
All in all, try to emphasize all the cool things you've done in your life, and then write what they have taught you. If you think now 'I have done nothing but lived in my boring town and picked my nose', think twice; what has your family taught you? What experience did you gain from your very first job? What have you achieved in school? Have you travelled anywhere, even to another town? Then add it! Everything that shows you are active and smart, is worth writing down. Everyone is intelligent enough to write a good personal statement, but just give it some time and ask other people, such as your teachers, family and friends, to critically review it for you.
Hopefully this was helpful. Other news; I am going to Tel Aviv in March, can't wait! It is going to be a really interesting trip, and I know many people in my family would not probably understand why I want to visit Israel. I want to go because I am curious I guess, and because it might teach me something new. However, just in case I want to visit my home country later, I will ask them to stamp a separate piece of paper instead of my passport, I read somewhere that they mostly do that these days. Otherwise, having Israeli stamp in your passport might cause you trouble when travelling to certain Arab countries later. It is going to be nice though, having the combination of The City, The Heat and History.
Pictures from my third trip to Spain in 2012, and a trip to Cuba in 2010.