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One experience I will never forget is that of my three weeks in Australia as a selected member of GirlguidingUK at the ‘Friendship Train’ jamboree. In general, I was surprised by how removed from the UK the cities felt without having any palpable differences. The most interesting discovery I made was that of the aboriginal people, their spirituality and culture and their hatred of white people. Reading their myths, I was struck by how many cultures create folk law to explain the unknown. I think that looking by looking at common elements of human society is significant as a study in anthropology into understanding ourselves. I have been given the chance in my history course to write an essay on a topic that interests me and chose to research the Americas and their discovery. Especially, I have been enthralled by evidence for the spread of peoples spreading south through America and the similarities of the culture and their tools as mentioned in Felipe Fernandez-Amnestro’s ‘America’. Looking further into this I read Michael Carter’s ‘Archaeology’ describing finds in Mesoamerica.

Having spent many holidays looking at Pictish stones and Neolithic carvings in Scotland, I am intrigued by the mystery of cup and ring markings. The trail of Bronze Age people is drawn across the country showing a glimpse of forgotten ritual or perhaps a god or domestic chore written in the stone. My passion for the past results from both books and physical evidence; I believe that we can gain a greater understanding of our present civilisations by looking at those of the past and of humans in the natural world by looking to our evolution. I enjoyed excavating a medieval skeleton when I joined a dig at Poulton, Cheshire this summer and thoroughly benefited from the experience of doing what I had previously read about in introductory books such as Kevin Greene’s ‘Archaeology: an introduction’, taking part in surveying, context recording, photography. The site itself has a long history from evidence of a Mesolithic wood henge through to a medieval chapel. I had the chance to see a collection of relevant artefacts and discuss the unusual lack of evidence for domestic activity as all the findings were of a religious/spiritual nature.

I have been a member of GirlguidingUK for 12 years and have gained many important skills. I have spent the last three years in a leadership role with Brownies (7 to 10 yrs old) and am currently working towards my warrant, which will qualify me as a leader. In doing this, I focus on encouraging girls to fulfil their potential and grow in self-assurance and individuality. This work is similar to the peer counselling that I take part in at school, assisting the younger students and encouraging use of the service through a number of assemblies which I have lead. Within the school, I was also involved in a small ‘Theatre in Education’ group: using theatre as a means of educating younger students on important issues such as and peer pressure. School has also helped me to further an interest in music, playing the violin in the chamber orchestra and singing in the senior choir. I have recently achieved Royal Life Saving Society NPLQ lifeguard qualification, furthering my recreational interest in swimming. The professional standard lifeguard training is a challenge that involved pushing myself to perform in physical swimming trials as well as knowledge based tests and practical first aid.

Human nature has not changed though the ages and, despite their unique quirks and idiosyncrasies, societies past and present have evolved with remarkable similarities. The discovery and celebration of human inventiveness, resilience and passion in all its different forms throughout time and across the world is what really inspires me to explore Archaeology and Anthropology at the highest level.

Universities applied to:

  • Birmingham (Archaeology with Anthropolgy) – Offer BBB
  • Durham (Archaeology and Anthropology) – Offer BBB
  • Edinburgh (Archaeology and Social Anthropology) – Offer BBB (FIRM CHOICE – fulfilled with grades of AAACbb)
  • Glasgow (Archaeology and Social Anthropology) – Offer ABB
  • Oxford (Archaeology and Anthropology) – Rejected
  • St Andrews (Scottish History and Social Anthropology) – Offer AAB

Grades achieved:

  • GCSE: 6A* and 3A
  • AS: aaabb
  • A Level predicted grades: AAAA

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