There are a few questions that you get asked on a regular basis when meeting new people in college
- Where are you from?
- What year are you?
- and…..What is your major? dun! dun! dun!
I love telling people I’m a geography major. It really confuses them. They either think that I’m studying rocks or am a mountain climber tree hugger… both are wrong. I came into BYU my very first semester in 2008 (just having turned 18 the day before my first class! just a baby) already declared as a Geography major. I can’t fully explain my love for geography. I took a class in 9th grade and knew it was what I wanted to study. Learning about new places, cultures, and landscapes fascinated me.
Geography, for all you people who think it is the study of rocks, is actually the study of physical features on earth, its atmosphere, and human activity as it affects and is affected by these.
Sometimes I don’t even know if my own family knows what I’m learning. I have a Travel & Tourism emphasis so I guess people think I learn about traveling all day. Yes I have taken history of Tourism, Adventure Tourism, and various other Tourism related classes, but Geography has a great emphasis on people, weather processes, geologic processes, current events, culture, food, agriculture, landscape, language, communication, observation, human condition, customs, patterns, globalization, family, and religion.
As I will be graduating with my Bachelors Degree in less than two months, I’ve really been thinking about what I’ve learned from my time at BYU. If I could define Geography on my own terms, I would simply say it is the study of the world; and I’ve loved learning about it.
I think that I’ve been given a greater understanding and respect for other cultures. A love of diversity and curiosity for new places. I had a professor who would always start his sentences with things like
- “the geographer in me …”
- “from my perspective as a geographer…”
- “standing back and taking things in as a geographer…”
He always told us to look at things from a different perspective. The geographic approach. To observe people and use reasoning to deduct why they act/speak/live they way they do. I actually often find my self looking at life through a geographic lens. Its pretty much really awesome.
Now, am I an adventure extremist with dreams of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or a girl who wears chacos to campus declaring that I’m a granola? No No No. I just love what I study. There really is no other major for me besides Geography.
Wow. Just had a mini revelation. I love studying the Earth. Maybe this is why I’m doing so horribly awful in my astronomy class. Earth vs Space? Earth wins, no battle.