"I first came to Franklin College to study A-levels in Fine Art, Textiles, History, Geology and General studies. At school, Art had always been my favourite subject, but I wanted to keep my options broad, developing writing skills in History and my interest in the physical world with Geology. My plan was to go on to an Art Foundation Course and then on to study Arts at University, so I enrolled on the Foundation course at the Grimsby Institute when I was coming up to the end of my time at Franklin. However, throughout the 2 years I had really grown to love Geology. Half way through my foundation year, I realised that although I loved the Arts, it was no longer what I wanted to aim for in my future career so I returned to Franklin once again, to get A-levels in Geography and Maths that allowed me apply to study BSc Geology and Physical Geography at the University of Leeds.
I completed my first 2 years of undergraduate, and then took up the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad in Australia. I spent 2 semesters at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, studying everything from Geology and Marine Science to Spanish and Australian History. I also had the opportunity to travel around Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, scuba-diving most of the way! This year was an absolutely incredible experience, opening doors to future opportunities in both study and career, and I would recommend that anyone who has such an opportunity at University take it up.
After returning to Leeds to complete my BSc, including field trips to Cyprus, Austria and Ireland, I moved to the University of Sheffield to study an MSc in Polar and Alpine change. This is a one year course studying the dynamics of current and past climates, particularly focussing on cold regions such as the poles. In August this year, I will be spending 6 weeks in the Arctic region of Svalbard, studying glacier processes and watching the polar bears.
In October, I will be starting a 3 year PhD jointly with the University of Cambridge and British Antarctic survey, using Antarctic ice cores to reconstruct past climates. While a little nervous to be at such a prestigious University, I am hugely excited and am very proud of my achievements. While studying at a high level is not everyone’s dream, I think the one piece of advice I can give to anyone is that you shouldn’t be afraid to change your mind about what you want to do. Take time, try things out, and don’t rush in to anything. And most importantly, do what you love."