I read a story on BBC News a few days ago about a crystal from the Jack Hills region of Western Australia being confirmed as the oldest fragment of the Earth’s crust (4.4 billion years old!). It was a zircon, which are really tough and very hard to degrade, and it made me think back to one of our first year modules. In Earth, A Dynamic Planet, we learnt about the formation of our planet, and how it evolved into what we know today. But we also learnt about zircons, and the oldest pieces of crust – and also Jack Hills. So it was really interesting to read about something I’d learnt in current research in the news. Honestly, this module was very interesting, but quite hard at the same time. It was examined by written essay exams, and physics, maths and chemistry tests – quite a few people in my year had to do retakes, so it wasn’t great. So this piece of news got me thinking back to first year, and what our modules were like then.
For me, first year geography was a little unexpected. Geography at degree level as a whole is quite different to A-Level geography (but definitely in a good way – we learn about much more interesting topics now than just populations and rivers….) but first year was not exactly what I had expected if I’m honest. We had several modules, in which we learnt chemistry, maths, statistics, physics and sociology… none of which fitted with my idea of A-Level geography!! But these key skills are essential for a geography degree, and your first year modules at Leicester really set you up with a solid basis for doing actual (in my opinion!) geography in more specialised areas of your choice in second and third year. So although the combination might seem a little strange when you first start out at Leicester, it really works, and it does set you up with all the skills you need for the two years of your degree which actually count towards your final grade! But I must add, despite the modules being different to expectations, they were interesting, so I can’t really complain!