UCL — Statement of purpose

This was the Statement of purpose I used in my application to University College London (UCL) as international exchange student (I was accepted), it was a real story which has an important meaning for me, here it is:

It was my third year in high-school, I can remember I was attending to a philosophy class when almost by mistake I heard a phrase that have had several consequences on me. While I was discussing with my friends, someone far behind me, in front of the classroom and as part of his presentation about Buddhism quoted: ‘the worst sin for savants is ignorance’.

Just as I finished listening to that, and without realizing I started thinking about it, I thought about my free time, my life, my actions, even my goals and then it just hit me, it did not take me long to realize how I did not consider ignorance as a sin, or at least my acts showed that I did not; I saw how I was embracing ignorance and in that very epiphany I understood how contradictory my position was.

I considered myself as a ‘smart’ kid, then how was it possible to waste my time playing video games and watching TV? The answer was obvious, I wasn’t doing anything different from a regular kid and I couldn’t stand such an answer. As soon as school finished, I went straight to my house, I laid down on my bed, staring at the ceiling, no movement made at all, I was there just thinking about myself until I finally make a decision.

It took me all afternoon and part of the evening to decide to change a lot about myself, I understood that my goals cannot be fulfilled without doing a big effort, but not the kind you do in high school nor the one you do to get a scholarship, I was referring to an endless effort, the kind of effort that differentiate a Da Vinci from an art student, such kind of effort is the one you improve it through your life and you only realize if it was big enough when you get old.

From that moment on I changed radically, I dramatically reduced the time spent watching TV, and I took that time to read about maths; instead of playing video games, I started rendering and modeling 3D objects on my cousin’s computer, I kept on drawing and went to designing, I went back to playing the piano, among others.

Since high school I have grown a lot, I intruded into politics, into arguing, I even went more deeper into maths, and I discovered economics; to, eventually, expecting to become an economist (and engineer too), and I also got to know teaching, I liked it to such a point that I try to teach to my students as much as I could about what I learnt from that phrase (something quite hard I would say) and not just about the subject in matter. And all of that was, in part, due to that phrase.

As I said, the effort that I committed to won’t be finishing soon, I feel like changing my environment, exchanging ideas and perspectives and arguing about them, being somewhere where people expect even more from me is now necessary to pursue my personal and intellectual growth, so applying to the University College London feels like the next natural step.