Multi Story Edinburgh

Episode 51: Geosciences Specials - Joanna, BSc Geography

October 26, 2021 The University of Edinburgh Season 2 Episode 15
Multi Story Edinburgh
Episode 51: Geosciences Specials - Joanna, BSc Geography
Show Notes Transcript

Its our final geosciences special and we are speaking to Joanna, who discusses feeling wanted, the human side of geography and drawing on personal experiences.

Each episode is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. As the world emerges from pandemic paralysis, are our Class of 2021 feeling inspired or inhibited, glad or gloomy, chaotic or calm?

Welcome to Season 2, a little bit of the same but quite a lot different. Subscribe now and find out what everyone is up to and how they feel about life, the last 12 months and future plans. 

All opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Edinburgh. 

Multi Story Edinburgh has been created and produced by the Alumni Relations team at the University of Edinburgh. If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch and let's talk. 

Music: Since When by Mise Darling from 
Artwork: Vector created by pch.vector from

[Theme music]

Sonia  0:09  This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is season two, Class of 2021. A little bit of the same, but quite a lot different.

Joanna  0:22 So my name is Joanna, although people call me [unintelligible] and I just graduated from Geography. So, at the moment, I'm in Poland, I'm at my parents flat at the moment, but I'm leaving on Saturday, so in like two days. And I'm going to Brighton to move into university halls because I'm starting a master's degree in history of design, and material culture, which is, which is a mouthful. So this time-- about this time last year, I was just kind of browsing all the university websites, mostly in the UK, but also some like, I don't know, American universities and like looking for courses that kind of sounded interesting. So I would like, browse their lists and be like, okay, this looks kind of nice, but, um, so once I went on the Goldsmith's website, and then I found this course and I was like, oh, yeah, this is it, this is it [laughs]. And it was something like different, completely different, it was like research architecture or something. I mean, it wasn't completely different, but it was kind of a different thing. But before that, so when I was in, like, second or third year, I wanted to stay at the University of Edinburgh and do a master's in architecture history. But then I actually thought, I want to move somewhere else. So I was like, okay, no, not Edinburgh and not Scotland. So I'm gonna look at something else. And it just happened that like, all the courses that interested me were like, the very south of England. And then, I don't know, just Brighton sounded kind of convincing, because they have this centre for design history. And I thought, okay, that, that's a good thing and that's kind of what I want to do. That's what's interesting to me at the moment. So I wrote a personal statement, and then sent it off, and then got an interview and they were like, yeah, we would love to have a geographer. And that kind of, that also kind of convinced me because it was an interview with the course organiser and she said, we would love to have a geographer.

Because, because I did architecture history for like, six semesters during my course, which was four years. So eight semesters, it always surprises people when I tell them I did geography and I studied architecture history as well. And they were like, what? Don't you like study rocks, but I did human geography. And I actually, I took architecture history in the first semester of the first year at uni, kind of by accident, because I wanted to, like do a course in second year, which was part of the School of Architecture and Landscape architecture, one of the prerequisites was architecture history. And I thought, okay, this is very interesting and it's kind of very geographical as well. So architecture is technically about space, right and place because architecture is the art of making places and spaces for people to live in, whether it's a house or a school, or like a government building or museum. Like if, if something has to do with space, it's kind of, you could study this as a geographer. I'm from Poland and there is a lot of, you know, you can really see the difference when you go abroad. And you can see the difference in how the space is managed and what kind of places people build. Here, back at home, I see a lot of space just being very poorly managed, I think, there is a lot of concrete and, and you know, trees being cut down. And one thing is the environment, but it's also very, like damaging for people to live in this kind of place. So it is very much interesting to me, but I also feel like emotionally affected by all of this. 

I did my A levels in England, in Yorkshire actually, because I got a scholarship to a boarding school in Yorkshire, which was in the middle of nowhere really. It was a very good school, I loved it, it was very small, though, because we had 15 people in our year. But yeah, and I really liked it up north because it was in North Yorkshire and yeah, and I wanted to study geography. And Edinburgh had a good department and I kind of like the idea of going even further up north. And also I love Harry Potter, and like so I thought okay, if I moved to Edinburgh, I'm obviously gonna meet JK Rowling, like at some point [laughs]. 

I think that up until like, a week ago, I was just excited, like I wasn't stressed at all. But now like I'm going in like, two days. I don't know the next time when I'm going to be back because of Covid and everything. So I'm trying to like get everything with me, like take everything with me that I will need for the year because I don't know. And obviously like the tests and everything I'm gonna pick up my test results in like an hour. And hopefully, you know, I'm fine to travel. I make lists, and then usually I don't look at them until like last minute [laughs]. No, I make lists, like and then I tick off everything, every single thing I've done like even the small thing, like if I have to send a parcel, I'm going to be like, pack the parcel, wrap the parcel, send the parcel [laughs]. I usually watch a lot of Netflix to distract myself from the fact that I have like a lot of things to do, which is not necessarily a good thing, but at least I can tick those movies off as well. I'm moving there with like, no expectations of what it's going to be like, because when you go somewhere with some expectations, you know, people say that you might get disappointed. Hopefully we're gonna get in person classes. And then with regards to like, I'll be in a uni flat and I don't know anyone there. When I moved to my uni flat in Edinburgh, it was horrible [laughs], I hated it. So it's gonna be what it's gonna be. I don't-- yeah, I've never been to Brighton, but people say it's nice. So I just hope I mean, it's got a beach, so it has to be nice. I have no idea what I'm gonna do after my master's. Hopefully a PhD, but you never know what it's gonna be. I don't plan more than a year ahead because I think that everything can change. 

Sonia 5:20  We also asked our graduates to share a place, somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this is finished.

Joanna 7:21  It's a pine forest. It's just sandy soil and the pine forest on it because that's the forest I'm most familiar with and I love it. So you can like go through the forest and then go for a swim. And I love swimming. I think it's very kind of-- it can be meditative. You know, and it's just very healthy for you. So one that's like the most, you know, it sticks out to me the most is every year when I was a kid, every summer we would go to a camp with the Girl Guides and Scouts. And we would live there for three weeks and we would like build everything ourselves out of wood. And it was like in the army tents and it was just like, the best thing. I miss that a lot. That's the kind of one thing I miss. And I'm kind of sad that I moved abroad. Yeah, that's what I feel like kind of like oh yeah, this, this is, this is my home, you know. I like being outside and I think it's very good for the soul, good for the mind, good for the body. You can get stuck like not just physically but also in your head. So I do recommend going outside.

Sonia  8:31  Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.

Kirsten 8:35  You're not on your own when it comes to planning for your future. Your
University of Edinburgh community is here to support you. And this includes ongoing support for graduates from the Careers Service. Why not take a look at our website to find out more about how we can support you get the future you want. Go to to get started

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