Sixth Form student, Alice Jenkins (Wh), was awarded ‘highly commended’ by a University of Cambridge College in a prestigious national essay competition. Here she talks through her reason for entering and details how she tackled the task:
“The Lucy Cavendish Essay Competition on Contemporary Issues was one that immediately stood out to me as a potential PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) student keen to voice my thoughts and ideas.
I was drawn to the competition by the ‘climate emergency’ title as climate change is evidently one of the most pressing contemporary issues that we are facing as a society and will continue to face in the years to come. Thus, I used lockdown and the Easter holidays as a chance to immerse myself in reading and MOOCs on both the problems and solutions surrounding climate change, as well as how capitalist political and economic structures complement or fail to complement these ideas.
It was important to me that I did not limit myself in my answer or argue that there could be no solutions as this mindset is not apt in solving climate change. Therefore, I read many contrasting opinions and perspectives before grounding my own and outlining a possible answer in my essay. I gave a flavour of these conflicting arguments in my essay as well as voicing my own opinions throughout.
I entered the essay competition to challenge my intellectual curiosity and so that it may serve as a reflection of my dedication to the subject on my personal statement; however, the benefits I gained from entering were much broader as I was able to voice my opinion on a topic that I feel passionate about and be heard.”