The University of St Andrews Admission Essay


Growing up with two older brothers, I had to learn how to fight at an early age. Although my efforts tended to be futile, every so often, I came out on top. The pride I felt in these moments is what drove me to keep fighting. As we grew, so did our height differences, and I had to adapt; learning to brawl with my words. My fighting spirit now drives my involvement in human rights and climate justice advocacy work. The University of St Andrews is the perfect institution to support my personal growth and equip me with the academic foundation I need to catalyze positive change on a broader scale.

One meaning or passion does not define me. St Andrews’ interdisciplinary approach to learning will allow me to explore my widespread passions holistically. The opportunity to study both Sustainable Development and International Relations is unique to this university. 

Writing for my school’s chapter of Amnesty International exposed me to many of the injustices pervasive in global politics. This greatly inspired my desire to study International Relations at St Andrews. Attending a school with such a diverse student body means developing a global perspective on the world crises I am determined to fight against. 

Finding out that St Andrews aims to be the UK's first carbon-neutral university further solidified my conviction to study there. Since attending The Anthropocene–an exhibit on climate change–at the Art Gallery of Ontario in eighth grade, I have been determined to join the fight for climate justice. I attended a course at Ryerson University in Climate Action in 2019, before co-founding an organization called Fashion for Futures later that year. We aim to raise awareness about the environmental and social impacts of the fast fashion industry. Studying Sustainable Development at St Andrews will enable me to continue fighting for climate justice by working in environmental law or policy. 

I am drawn to St Andrews’ rich student life; I plan on joining the Art Society, Olympic Weightlifting, and the Students’ Representative Council. The small class sizes and research-led teaching style will also benefit me, allowing me to practically explore the information taught. Since the university is small, I will be able to connect personally with staff and form close connections with peers. It is important to me to be in a place where my ideas are routinely challenged, so I can constantly grow and learn. 

From volunteering at local soup kitchens, to protesting for youth education, to rewriting my high school’s sexual violence protocol, I am committed to working for change whenever possible. I will continue giving back to my community through the volunteering opportunities offered at St Andrews. 

This scholarship is an opportunity to attend an incredible university that would otherwise be out of reach. I admire the McEuen family story and have the utmost respect for their desire to give back despite the challenges they faced. Hearing stories like theirs inspires me to keep fighting to effect a positive change in the world. 

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