Comparing 1st & 2nd Year

People keep reminding me that I am already half way through my Geography degree, a fact which I find pretty terrifying. I am also getting asked the general question: “what are you going to do after uni?” far more frequently. For this I have a variety of answers and will use the one I feel is the most appropriate for the occasion. Other than that, second year is fairly similar to first year in terms of timetable and assessment structure, however this year counts for 40% of my over all degree grade.

I am reading more widely this year to ensure my essays have a range of arguments in them and because I am more interested in my second year modules than I was in my first year ones. I am currently writing three essays over the Christmas holidays which is exactly what I was doing last year as I don’t have any January exams so it’s all assessed coursework. One of these essays is on whether war is inevitable, a big question I know, so it’s important to carry out my own independent research to get a range of opinions on the definitions of war, global politics, civilisations etc etc.

I am trying to complete assignments well before the hand-in date opposed to first year where I left it a lot later. Perhaps this is because this year actually counts towards the final grade or maybe I am just a little more organised now and know more of what the lecturers expect. It is obvious now in seminars who has and hasn’t done the readings as we discuss them in greater depth than we did last year. This is especially true in my Cultural Geography module which is about representational (textual,visual forms) and non-representational geographies (experiential forms), a theme fairly difficult to understand without background reading to help me along.

I still don’t know what I will do after university, what I do know is that I am finding my degree and university life increasingly enjoyable, challenging and rewarding. It is exciting to be learning about global issues and the social side of Geography as last year there was a greater focus on statistics and GIS skills (not my thing at all). In January I will be starting to prepare for my field-trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as carrying on a careers-orientated module, starting on a philosophy and politics elective, with a little environmental development thrown in on top of that. I look forward to it all!

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