Daisy is currently a fourth year BA Geography student in the Faculty of Environment.
Why did you choose your degree?
Geography seemed like a very natural choice at the time for me. For a while I considered history as well, but I then realised I could study lots of history as a type of geography. So, I suppose what makes the subject so appealing is the range of topics I could cover under the umbrella of geography. It’s such a great feeling to go from one fascinating lecture about Transport, for example, to another equally interesting one about Feminist approaches to geopolitics.
What have you found most challenging about university?
Probably the time management aspect. The leap from school to university is – as we’re always told – massive. This isn’t in terms of the workload per se, but more the expectation to manage your own reading and learning time. In a lot of ways this is obviously brilliant – we can work whenever suits us best, and as a result can fit loads of hobbies, interests and jobs around that. However, those first few months of working out the balance is tricky. Thankfully the personal tutor system, especially in the school of geography, creates a structure where there are loads of staff happy to help – as well as other students! The library skills resources are also brilliant for this.
Have you chosen or completed a Study Abroad or Industry Placement year?
I’m so incredibly excited for study abroad! For me it was one of the most enticing aspects of Leeds Uni. I should be heading off to Lyon in France next year, where I’ll be studying completely in French. This is pretty petrifying as I’ve only got a GCSE in French and though I’ve improved a lot, I’m still long way from fluency! The language zone at Leeds is newly renovated absolutely fantastic. I borrow a lot of french movies, novels, and the more boring grammar books. Leeds also has a language partner exchange, where I’ve met a great french friend. Discovery modules are also available for language learning. All these facilities create a really strong language learning community at the Uni, who have been very helpful and welcoming.
What did you study at school and/or college?
At GCSE I did: French, Geography, History and DT (as my non ‘core’ subjects). I just did these subjects because I liked them. At A-Level I did Geography, History and Economics. So kind of the dream geography combination! They’re all subjects that encourage an analytical perspective of the world. As well as that they gear you up for reading and essay writing, which is always important for a Human Geographer. The joy of geography though, I would say, is that any skill you bring to the table is valuable. Geography is all about bringing different disciplines together. That’s what makes it so interesting to study. In our discipline a ‘hard’ science is considered to be just as useful as (what some might call) a ‘soft’ art. Ultimately, the best thing you can do in preparation for a geography degree is be interested, and choose the subjects that interest you.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love all the time we have to spend with our friends and housemates. We’re all keen attendees of the Union Pub Quizzes. Leeds has two brilliant historic cinemas in Hyde Park Picturehouse and Cottage Road Cinema, which we frequent. I also love visiting the (free!!) art galleries in & around Leeds, and there’s a lot to choose from. Henry Moore, Leeds Art, Tetley, Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park to name a few. There are lots of community run venues in Leeds, and which we’ll often visit to watch friends’ bands play. Leeds is also very firmly planted on the music map with both Uni of Leeds and Beckett hosting fantastic gigs: in the last year we’ve seen Little Simz, Foals (twice!), King Krule, to name but a few.
What are your experiences of accommodation at university?
In first year I was in Lupton Hall. It wasn’t where I applied, so I was initially disappointed. However, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me! Everything about Lupton was perfect for me. It had everything we needed, and lots of greenspace, where we had loads of BBQ’s in the summer. Most of my close friends are from those halls. The move from halls to a private house in second year is a bit of a shock. University accommodation is incredibly simple to sort out. The same can’t always be said for private housing. Having said that, having a home that is totally yours is thrilling, and being surrounded by other students is great. You really feel part of the community.
Where do you see yourself after university?
I’m still pretty undecided here. After studying transport in first year, urban planning and transport is quite appealing. However, something more hands-on like teaching is definitely of interest to me. Gaining lots of ‘transferable skills’ is a big advantage of Geography – we learn to analyse data, write essays and work in teams. This means doors in lots of different industries remain open.
Sum up your university experience (so far!) in one sentence!
There’s always something new to try!