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Why I love geography

 

(photo credit: keepcalm-o-matic.co,uk)

When I first told my friends that I am going to study geography at university, they thought I was mad. To them geography is a subject that was complicated, confusing and boring. they were probably wondering why i would want to spend 3 years of my life studying that. although if I think back to when I was in the early years of secondary school and I told my 12-year-old self that I would have studied geography for gcse, A level and going on to uni to do it, then I would have probably said the same thing as my friends do today.  My opinion of geography changed when i was allowed to delve deeper into the subject. Since then the list of reasons why I love this subject has grown, and I guess it will only get longer with time.  so here are my reasons in no particular order…
 
  • Geography is not complicated if you have a real enjoyment of something it never becomes complicated or hard and the same can be said for geography. whilst there can be a lot of angles on the subject, they are easy to understand and its a good thing that there is no single answer to things cause it can make for some interesting debates.
  • I just really enjoy learning geography I don’t think I have had a single moment from the beginning of GCSE’s to where I am now at the end of A levels where i haven’t enjoyed my geography lessons. geography is always new and growing so the things i learn never become dull.
  • It’s a subject that can be learnt to a high standard without touching a textbook a lot of subjects taught in schools do rely on textbooks for a lot of their content, but this in my opinion makes learning very dry. luckily geography is a subject that can be learnt without using them as there is so much going on around us in the world that we can use to learn from. Indeed, for my second year of geography A level, I don’t think I have actually used a textbook at all, in fact I don’t even own one! This is because I enjoy getting case studies from events around me, things I hear and read on the news and this has the added bonus of not having to intensely revise them as because I was the one who researched my case studies so I remember them better cause they mean more to me. A good example of this is the recent storms and flooding in the UK. All of this provided excellent material for case studies that I used on a number of scales for 2 topics in geography. Even better, I can keep adding to them to make them into case studies for the long-term impacts of flooding too. whilst I am sure there is a perfectly good example in a textbook, I somehow doubt it will be as interesting as the one I have researched myself.
  • There are so many different topics in geography and they all can relate to each other from tectonics and climate to development and population, there are so many areas in this subject which makes it so diverse. although these topics are taught separately, they do all overlap to some extent. this means that I can learn something that is under the headline of population but use it in development too, not only does this make it easier for me to revise for my exams, it makes it more interesting to think that geography is all-inclusive so to speak.
  • geography helps to get rid of stereotypes there are many assumptions in the world that can relate to geography and that geography can provide the real picture for. a good example of this is the differing levels of development around the world. the stereotype of rich north, poor south is well-known, but through learning about it in geography I learnt that this is far from the case as this view is very outdated.
  • Geography provides solutions to the world’s problems- through the study of geography there have been many major breakthroughs that have helped to improve people’s lives such as the better understanding of how to protect against flooding, alternative fuel supplies, prediction of natural disasters such as tsunami’s and volcanic eruptions, reducing poverty and its associated issues… the list is really endless.
  • Geography is fun! thanks to studying geography I have been on lots of field trips such as spending a day wading around in a  (slightly freezing) river to collect data for my GCSE coursework (to my non geography friends, this would sound horrible, but being a self confessed geography nerd I found it great!) exploring London a place I have always wanted to visit, and going to a geo-hazards conference earlier in the year at Plymouth University, where I was lucky enough meet Professor Iain Stewart. Geography gives loads of opportunities.
  • Geography links to my other interests such as astronomy as regular viewers of my blog will know, I also have a passion for Astronomy and it is wonderful to be able to combine my interest in the planets and stars with astronomy. It’s good to be able to apply knowledge the earth’s tectonic activity to that on Mars, which helps to explain why Mars is so different in terms of atmosphere despite having the potential to have been so similar once.
  • Geography links the past to the present and future  events in the earth’s history have influenced what is happening today and what might happen in the future and a good example of this is climate change as there is evidence in the past of fluctuating climates and this can show us what could happen in the future to the earth’s climate.

As I come to the end of my A levels,  I would like to think that some aspect of geography will become my life one day, cause i have honestly not loved any subject more than geography.

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