A number of students each year aren’t sure whether they are doing enough to demonstrate to their chosen universities that they are engaging sufficiently with their subject before they start life as an undergraduate. This can be a main concern for students as they write their personal statement, and ask themselves what they can include to make themselves stand out from the competition.
The reality is that enthusiasm can manifest itself in a number of different ways, and there are no “right” or “wrong” approaches to expressing a commitment to your particular subject. For some students, it might mean that they have read extensively, for others, it may be reflected in a series of internships and volunteering roles. With the rise of social media, some students are also capitalising on the fact that it is now easy to write blogs or create a YouTube channel where they can talk about topics that are of interest to them. Again, this clearly demonstrates a good level of engagement.
It is worth remembering that all of your universities will look at your application individually and consider what you have done with the opportunities you have had available. Admissions Tutors are always aware of situations whereby nepotism can play a large role, and they do their best to ensure that they treat applicants fairly, by considering what they could feasibly have pursued. It would not be fair, or indeed proper, for universities to discriminate based on the fact that some students have access to more resources than others.
It is, however, important to show that you have been tenacious in terms of trying to pursue activities which could make you better at your chosen degree path. This could be by writing to hundreds of companies asking for work experience, or by downloading free online lectures which are of particular interest to you. Even if you are unable to get particularly relevant work experience, you may still be able to do something which helps to develop skills you can apply during your undergraduate years. This will also be impressive to Admissions Tutors, so remember that doing something, even if the link is slightly tenuous, is almost certainly better than doing nothing.
The most important thing you can do to show enthusiasm for pursuing a particular degree course is by planning your application carefully. Not only will this maximise your chances of securing offers, it will also ensure that you will have created something of a track record in terms of organising yourself with purpose. Clear evidence of meticulous planning of your application can help you to stand out against the other applicants; perhaps it will mean that you haven’t rushed your research and reading, or that you are more familiar with the current state of research in your chosen fields.
It is important to realise that Admissions Tutors are very experienced; it will be easy for them to tell if you have left your application to the last minute, and then it would be harder for you to make a good impression.