I’m tired of everyone giving geography students like me a hard time. For years I’ve experienced jibes, sarcastic comments and mockery for the fact I like geography, but I didn’t think it would carry on at university.
My friends and I have heard all the digs, from: “where are your colouring pencils?” to “do you not get bored of looking at maps?” I don’t mock any other student’s degree, so why is geography any different?
Yes, I do like maps (I own a number of them in fact) but geography is so much more than that. It is about many of the important issues we face today, from climate change to geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East.
Geography is growing in popularity. Last year 37,100 people took the subject at A-level – 13% more than the year before, according to the Royal Geographical Society. This is the biggest jump out of any of the major subject choices.
So why is there still such disregard for the subject?
Maybe it’s the early experiences people have which focus on volcanoes and capital cities. But take a look at the news and it is hard not to connect current affairs to geography. There are the obvious links, such as the political debate around climate change. But there is also a link to the EU referendum, for example,which raises questions about identity and the nation state.
Maybe it’s because the subject lacks a figurehead. Natural history has David Attenborough. Classics has Mary Beard. Science has Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox.
Instead, the media scoffs at us. Take the Inbetweeners “field trip” episode, where the characters see the outing as an opportunity for a doss. And the series makes constant jibes about geography teachers.
People mistakenly think teaching is the only career open to geographers. Teaching happens to be something I am interested in, but there are so many more options available, from local government roles to positions at large transnational corporations.
Studying geography at university gives you the opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics; there will always be something you are interested in. Admittedly, there are only around 12 contact hours a week on my course in Cardiff (some geography courses do have more), but many degree courses have a similar programme, from history to English literature.
Perhaps you still feel the same about geography after reading this. You may even want to mock it more, but it will always give me a lot of enjoyment and I hope I have managed to win you over.You might think I’m a little weird for loving it so much and you could be right, so I’ll just accept that fact. I have some map colouring to get back to, anyway. I must make sure I stay within the lines.
[Source:- The Guardian]