I am not going to sugar coat this.
There is only one word to describe this semester and that is HECTIC. Throw away any misconceptions you have about Geography being a ‘soft’ subject with little workload. The contact hours will be significantly less than your friends but this is needed to keep on top of the researching and reading required for all the essays and seminar prep thrown at you. This semester I have already sat one exam, thought up dissertation ideas and am currently ploughing through my 3rd assignment. All on top of my part time job as a research assistant for a Professor in the Geography department. Over Christmas I have two portfolios and another essay to crack on with as well as exam revision. So if you think Geography at Newcastle is a doss, think again.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There is definitely a method to the madness. Geographers start dissertation preparation much earlier than other subjects so the majority of the work at the moment is designed to help us think through A) what type of geographers we are B) What type of data we want to collect and C) How we want to go about collecting and analysing it.
So although the thought of a dissertation project seems daunting, I am looking forward to Semester two after the January exams are completed and my assignments handed in, to start putting into ACTION what we have been sitting through hours of eye-glazing lectures for. I am also very much looking forward to our fieldtrip module when we will be conducting research abroad. The choices were incredible From Borneo to Barcelona, Iceland and Copenhagen and many more. I’ll be jetting off to Hong Kong where again we will be seeing and putting into practise some of the processes we have been learning about in lectures and seminars.
So although I am glad to be leaving Newcastle behind for the Christmas break and I am already looking ahead and looking forward to what’s in store for us Geographers next semester!