I'm writing my personal statement for my UCAS application (2012 entry). My only choice is Mathematics at the Trinity College of the University of Cambridge.
I am Italian and though I am taking the CAE on October, my English if far from being "perfect". That's why I would be happy to hear your feedback about my work.
Also, I often have difficulties in expressing my opinions and/or emotions (even in my own language, I mean), perhaps because: 1) My opinions are almost always against what the "others" think; and 2) This is more complicated... I often "feel" that I am indifferent to many of the things I do. Everything here (in my country) looks meaningless to me. I will say it again: this is more complicated... more complicated than I will ever be able to explain. I will therefore stop here (unless somebody asks for clarifications).
These are the paragraphs I have worked out till now.Since I was a child, mathematics has always been my favourite subject at school.
However, as soon as I realised that the mathematics I was being taught at school was missing some vital ingredients (e.g. no mention of the history of mathematics at all), my wish of knowledge started to increase each day more and more. When my teachers could not fulfil my curiosities and doubts, I had to rely on other books from the bookshop or the Internet. I found some advanced textbooks, but I could not understand them yet. Therefore I started to read popular science books. I read a lot of them. My favourite books are "The Music of the Primes" by M. Du Sautoy or "Fermat's Last Theorem" by S. Singh, only to name two of them. About two years ago, popular science did not satisfy me anymore.
In my opinion, Italy offers little attention for people of my age who have a great passion for mathematics. I have taken part in the Italian Mathematical Olympiad every year in the last five years, but I could never qualify. I had too little time to practice because of the amount of school subjects to study. But what I really lack of in my home town is mates. I have my friends here, of course, but I always found myself unable to share my pleasure and satisfaction (but also frustration and doubts) about mathematics with them. I would like to be surrounded by people who think like me, who see things my way.
I have been studying English since I was eight. I successfully took the PET and FCE exams and I have had several experiences in England. In 2008 I took part in a two-year project called "Comenius", in which students are taken on a trip to a foreign country and are hosted by local families. My group went to Standish (Manchester) and I was hosted by a well educated family which introduced me to the English school system. On July 2010 I stayed at the University of Roehampton for a two-week English course, and on October 2011 I am staying at Bourneville College for a three-week course which will end with the CAE exam.
I am looking forward to starting university and devote myself to mathematics. My wish is to dedicate a consistent part of my life to research in mathematics (possibly remaining at the University of Cambridge) and to add some little brick to that vast and noble building called "mathematics".
* I stopped here, thinking that the "story" was becoming boring and unnecessary.
I would also include in the statement the real reason for why I am applying to Cambridge. The reason comes from two, equally important factors:
1) Italy is not
my world. The Government takes Education less seriously than the f***s of the Prime Minister. (Sorry, I had to sat it).
2) I have been to England twice (I'm going there again in less than a month) and from what I have seen, heard and known, I am sure that England is
my world, the world I have always dreamed of. Nevertheless, I do "like" English speaking countries in general.
Thanks in advance for your help!