A Level

If at first you don’t succeed…we’re here to help.

I will always think of January 14th 2011 as one of the best days of my life. After two cold university rejections from both the University of Bristol and the University of Edinburgh, I received an email from UCAS telling me that the London School of Economics had accepted my application for the BSc Government course….I had done it! The acceptance I had worked so hard for had finally become mine. My immediate reaction was to jump around, screaming with joy. I guess I must have been pretty loud, as our next-door neighbour soon rang to ask if everything was okay.

The following nine months consisted of hard work, worry, stress and finally celebration. I had exceeded my offer of AAB and achieved A*A*A*. At this point, life could not have been any better; I had been educated at a secondary school in a deprived ex-mining community and through ruthless determination, made it as a student at one of the world’s premier universities. However, this period of momentary bliss quickly faded. The ‘settling in at university’ period never really began or ended; permanent unhappiness and anxiety consumed me from September to April. Finally, after seven months, I handed in my withdrawal form and officially left the LSE. From the euphoria of acceptance to the depths of depression, my relationship with the LSE was one of extremes.

Leaving my dream university was a hellish experience. I was gripped by regret, disappointment and embarrassment. I was no longer passionate about politics, I had lost my self-confidence, I had missed the UCAS application deadline to reapply for university and I was tired of explaining to friends and family why the LSE didn’t work for me.

However, my luck began to change. Springtime blossomed and I began to feel a lot more positive about my future prospects. I researched different universities and courses, I reconnected with academia and my love affair with History moved pretty quickly. And so, I decided to prepare a clearing application to study History at Durham University.

I was very aware that I was skating on thin ice. Due to the high standard of applications received by the Department of History at Durham, there were no places officially in clearing, and the last thing I wanted to do was to take a gap year. I knew that I had to produce a stellar personal statement to accompany my high grades. I also knew that I would have to be persistent, and prove to the Department that I was worth taking a chance on.

After 24 hours of torture and countless phone calls back and forth, I received the news that my application had been accepted. And so, I experienced that oh so familiar euphoria once again.

I am just about to start my second year at studying History at Durham University and I could not be happier. I will look back at my first year at Durham as one of the best years of my life.

Leaving the university of my dreams was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. Access to academic support, guidance and counseling would have been invaluable in my journey between universities. The pressure to produce a personal statement that will sparkle in the pile of equally qualified applications is daunting for any student applying to the top universities. However, the challenge of getting accepted to a Department that has probably already exceeded its offer limit, is insurmountable.

If you need any help or guidance in producing a truly special personal statement, please do not hesitate to contact a personal statement tutor at MyTutorWeb; a few hours guidance has the possibility to open the gateway to the university of your dreams.


Written by Sophie Tulley

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