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NatureLab

Episode 2 · 2 years ago

#2 Choosing Our Science

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome back to Nature Lab! We have really missed this but we have finally figured out a way to get the best quality podcast for you guys during these times.

Today's episode is all about taking that step up to University and what we all experienced trying to find our path to a career or a lifestyle we would be happy with. We talk about personal experiences on university, we give advice to first years and get deep into the idea of being worried or scared during university and how you can get through that.

So I've got a question for you......

Hello and welcome to nature lab. Last time we did an episode about our experience as Scuba diving. Today we're doing something a bit different. We're going to be talking about choosing a science and but firstly I want to welcome back Dan and China from last episode. Welcome back, guys. But we've also got another person with us today, the last, but not least final member of the team, Juliet say I Julietto the entire cruise here finally. But yeah, as I said before, we're going to talk about choosing a signs when you go to Uni and choosing what you want to do. So, guys, I've got question for you. When you got into university, how did you choose your science? Okay, I think I'll go first on this. All Right, I knew when I got to Uni I wanted to do something with conservation. I didn't know what, I didn't know how, I just knew wanted to do something the conservation, which is a bit off considering a picked marine biology because I'm what I've done in the past is way more terrestrial. So I understood a lot more about that environment than I did the marine environment. So I was, I wouldn't say I wasn't looking forward to it, because I was, but I was definitely nervous about how to get to the path I wanted to with the science that chosen, because I think there is definitely like I could do it and it was definitely an interest, but it was just how I could get there, if you know what I mean. Yeah, I go you mean. That was my experience with it. And now I've got to finish my second year and I'm going on Stair Yer and I know I can do what I want to do, like even the even the module options. Like I know modules to employers don't mean much, but to me to have just conservation in the title of my module helps...

...me a lot because I'm just like, Oh, there is a root for you know what I want to do here. Yeah, it gives you a clear guideline of what where you want to go. Yeah, and obviously I'll still use like the UNI services, like I'll still go to Korea stuff, because I think that does help and it gets you from that academic side to employment. But I definitely think when I was getting to uni, I was definitely nervous about how I was going to make a living doing this. Yeah, I feel like that same for everyone. Everyone gets nervous when they go to uni. One thing I would like to ask you that you did mention that you did a lot of to restreal stuff, which is anyone doesn't know, is animals basically live in a land. And obviously you came to me in biology. Would you rather working conservation, terrestrial wise or marine wise? I thought that before I made my choice. So when I when I was looking at choices for uni, I was looking at geography, zoology and marine biology. I'll admit part of it, and this is hard to admit because I think a lot of people go through this, but I think it needs to be said. A part of it was my grades. You know, I think zoology had a higher standard of grades than geography or marine biology. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's because the volume of the course or or the difficulty, but I that that was part of it. The other part of it was it was something new. Yeah, so it was. It was. I done stuff in the marine environment, of course. I had a spoken last podcast about free diving. I had a big interest in fishing as well and just general generally the marine environment. Water was always something I wanted to be involved in as well. Yeah, you did say a last episode how you love to explain the the alien world of underwater and things like that. Yeah, is is that something what Sid drove you to...

...do Marine Biologen, I think, more than doing something terrestrial? Yeah, I think it was. Like I said, it was definitely it was a hard choice, but I think I think that's it might even have been subconsciously, I knew I wanted to do that more than I did terrestrial. Yeah, I'm definitely happy I chose it now. Oh yeah, Trulia, what about you? Like when you decided to come to university and did marine biology? was that for any reason whatsoever or tell me about it? All right. So, actually, back when I was in high school I was dead set on taking astrophysics. Oh Wow, yeah, quite a big change. I didn't take a physic sale level because I took a taste of session and I realized I did not enjoy most aspects of physics. So I'll have to fear in that one. Physics is not my strong sup yeah, I enjoyed I enjoyed learning about astrophysics but, like anything else, I was just generally bad at in physics. So I decided not to take that toi level. Yeah, but during my time at six form I was really worried about what to do for a degree because I had no clue what I wanted to do. Still to this day, actually, I don't know know what to do after I finish at UNE. But what was really good is I spoke to my tutors and my counselors and they were all saying, you know, it doesn't matter if you don't know what to do, pick something that you are interested in, because obviously that's going to help you get through your degree. HMM, some degree of interest in your course is important. Oh, most, most definitely. I think we all agree with that. Like, I think what got me interested in marine biology was looking around universities and listening to all the different talks by different professors and, yeah, object but also watching documentaries as well. It's what really got me interested in that. Yeah,...

...did you want? Sorry, I was just going to ask. How many units did you go and visit with these talks, and was it a few or was it just quite five? Five, okay, with the Yall marine biology related? Not Usually. I was just looking around universities. That seems nice at that point in time, and blistening to various different talks. Yeah, I think marine biology at all of these universities was definitely a strong contender and I really enjoyed listening to the talks actually all because, yeah, it was just really unterestful to me. And you know, it's perfectly fine to not know what you want to do, which is what happened to me, as long as you happen what you end up doing. I feel like that goes for a lot of people going into uni. Because how are you, guys? Are was very, very scared going into uniquecause I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do. I was terrified. I'm still here today. Yeah, what about you, China? was you dead set on marine biology, because last episode e very seemed like you were, or was there part in the road where you didn't really know? So, when I was a kid, obviously I knew that I wanted to work with, you know, marine animals and things. Yeah, but when it came to actually choosing my marine options, it was quite difficult to choose between marine biology or marine zoology. Yeah, when you say that to people that don't know the difference between the two, they seem very similar and they're almost the same when actually zoology is very much more animal based, whereas marine biology is more large scale, like global issues and things like that. Marine biology will also cover a lot of environmental things as well. Yes, so when I was looking at universities, I looked at three because I'd done a couple of summer schools and stuff, so I kind of had like a rough idea of what I wanted out...

...of a course, so it is easier to narrow down. But when I was looking around I was looking at marine biology and marine zoology. All, not all universities do marine zoology. Sometimes they just do it as zoology, which was the case when I visited hull. I looked at the zoology stuff and it just wasn't quite marine enough for me. So it was a bit of a hard decision, but I ended up going with marine biology because I met the lecturers, I felt so much more comfortable with them and the fact that the course was so flexible, so I could choose the zoology modules as options even though I was on a marine biology course. So this tear just gone. I did animal form and function, which is a zoology module and the same as next year. I'm kind of tailoring it to a mix between the two, so I've got like an equal balance of marine biology and marine zoology. Okay, so when you chose whole to do marine biology, you didn't just look at the modules. You interact as with the people on the course and yeah, flexible it could be. So you didn't just take the module into account, which I feel like a lot of people feel like that's what you need to take in account, which is true. Yeah, you really do need take your modules into account. You need to make sure you doing what you want to do, but same time, they need to be flexible enough so that, because I'm not a big fan of like, don't get me wrong, I like evolution. Obviously we have to know about it and everything, but I'm not. That's not like my thing, that's not like my little area. Yeah, I'd rather choose a module about physiology and biology, you know, sell stuff over evolutionary time and things like that. So when you look at them, you've got to also check the flexibility of the course and how much they're willing to modify it to fit what you want, because obviously I've had such a clear idea of what I want to do. It's kind of been fitting things around what I know I can do, which is something that a lot of people don't always take into account. Yeah,...

...so you, compared to everyone else, you sort of came into Uni not knowing a hundred percent what you want, but strongly having an idea on that. You've always been head set on marine. You never found very headstrong. Yeah, so, like you've never like thought about branching into another like terrestrial or anything like that. I've always been marines. The way I want to go come fish. So yeah, literally, yeah, okay, would you if you depict marine biology or marine zoology? Would it have mattered in the big picture? So, now that I'm at Uni and like obviously doing it now, I think back then I was so hung upon being a marine biologist because obviously marine zoologist you don't. I don't know why, but there just doesn't seem to be as much of a you know, as most people don't really talk about it. It's always, Oh, I'm just flogest so I was always worried that I was going to narrow myself in in a little box and that I wasn't going to be, you know, accepted as much by employers because, oh well, she's only done this one thing. I wanted to open myself up to as much as possible on the way so that if I decided to do anything else, like at Uni, like I really love an enemies. Now, like an enemies are adorable. They're really aggressive, but adorable. Yeah, I remember in first year you're thinking about doing dissertation and one of them exactly. So, even though I've always had an end goal, as long as long as you're open up to everything that comes with it along the way, you're always learning new stuff and as long as you remain open to it, you really can go anywhere with it. So now that I'm doing it, I don't think I would have minded doing the zoology or marine biology, but I'm kind of grateful die shows marine biology because there's a lot more that I am opened up to now. Yeah, because, especially your first year, you don't have as much flexibility during that first year because everything set, isn't it? Like the lodgs do. It's quite...

...sad. It's your seconding, you Fergi, where you start to get more flexibility in choosing which modules you want to branch into. Yeah, yeah, because I think chrying you had a case about modules and looking into modules. But I also think you have to acknowledge that part that are going to be bits of UNI that you won't like doing. or Oh yeah, definitely the will we work and there will be modules that you're just so you just the way I got around that is you literally just balance it with the modules you like. So for every I don't know, three pages of lecture notes I do for a subject I wasn't a hundred percent on, I do three that I loved and it had kind of picked me back up again. As long as you've got an equal balance, it definitely helps. Yeah, Oh, yeah, definitely. It's like what you said earlier. To you yet, where you went going, you talked a lot of your tutors to help you guide or what you want to do and figure, I'll, exactly the path you want to take. Yeah, it definitely helps. I think if you are struggling with what you want to do or choose for your degree, it's definitely worth talking to people to help you through it. But in silence and struggle with what pick the things with university, especially what I personally have a experience and I hope to believe if you free have is everyone's really helpful. There every lay. There isn't one person you can't talk to it, who can't help you. If you talk to someone and they don't have the answer, they'll be able to guide you to multiple of other people who might have the answer for you as well. Yeah, there is so much connection with everyone around the university. It's it's very nice to be able to have all these people can go and talk to it you. There's not one point where you can feel Stu, stuck on, hopeless, without guide us from everyone, because, I shure you, there's going to be one person who can't help you through what you need to get through. So with that, obviously, Max, your decisions for your courses were a little bit different to ours.

Do you want to kind of explain to everyone what's what kind of with you? Yeah, because, yeah, you're a bit out of it. Considering you've talked Meriem old. You have gone about the same as me, a different route. Yeah, I've it's quite similar to you downe with working in conservation because, like, my big dream job is that I want to be like an ambassador for a species, be the frontline person to educate people on protecting a species, how to conserve it, like one of the big things I want to work with is reptiles and a specifically crocodilians. Crocodiles, alligators, guariels, all that type of things, because they're like they're my favorite animal, which it's a cand year. You're thinking, we haven't done much on this. Yeah, you were that you yeah, we'll call me into definitely. Yeah, I as a very, very scared beginning with the first second year, because I really enjom my first year, but then at the end of it I realized, like, I don't want to go directly into the marine world. I love the marine world, but there's other things I would prefer doing. It's like we're diving, as I said last episode, how I ridually I want to make a career out of diving, but now I just want to do it recurelationally. I don't want I just want to do it for enjoyment. I don't want to make a big career out of it. And I got very worried because of all the modules we did. was A it's like I kind of did the same thing with China. I for would do a lot more zoology base things when we didn't, which is fair enough, because the modules I did was still very useful and I really enjoyed them. Yeah, and I was like, okay, I want to do more zoology. So I went around talking to different lecturers if I had to change course and that a worried about that as well. Yeah, and it turned out I don't, because the court like the things I could pick my second and third year or the flexibility of the course and the different modules I could pick. It led me down the line of what I want...

...to do, because I want to do herpetology, was just the work of reptiles and Amphibians. I don't want to do oceanography or anything like that. But got that path now. You know where? Yeah, I've got a power of what can lead me on to that, because I'm thinking, I've got now I've got two options to do from a masters either do uzoology tip of the herpetology course, or go into a paleontology course instead, because difference between the two. What? What are the difference between the two? To what? So the difference between Paleontology and herpetology? A sorry, don't know. Yeah, so herpetology is like a branch of Zoology. What specifies in Living Amphibians and reptiles well, paleontology is the work of fossils and dinosaurs. As a kid I've loved donostaurs growing up. One of my favorite mute movies, ever, is dress it park good times. I'm even thinking about doing for my dissertation is some Paleontology Works. I'm dabbling a bit into that. It was really just more of a hobby. Try to light just studying everything. Now want to make it more of a hobby. So I've opened two completely different subjects I could have take. I could have took originally. I'll take a marine biology for me, two subjects I see celely enjoy really want to learn about by taking a marine biology course from thinking I've took this course and I have to stick with this for the rest of my life. That's not that's not, it's all at all. Yeah, Oh God, yeah, and it like I said, it always opens up at your second and four years when you've pick what you want to do from your modules and that can guide you around owner where you want to go. So it's you could say you could becauseology course and you could end up on environmental conservation instead. It's that metaphor that when you're or I heard, when you were open days and stuff like that. Is that metaphor about having doors open and Dorton options,...

...where you're in a room? Yeah, and I don't think you realize that until you're in second year, third year. Yeah, definitely. Oh, most definitely. Yeah, I want to ask if you were talking to a first year who was trying to pick their option or they will go into all they were trying to find an uni. What, what piece of advice would you give them? Yeah, I think, thinking about it, I tell them to obviously choose something they're interested in, choose a university that they feel would help them in that interest, just generally find a place that makes them feel happy with what they're doing. Yeah, there's got to be an element of comfort there. It hasn't just got to be based on grades. And this is where you're grades are taking you. Oh, yeah, exactly. I felt like there's so much pressure on getting good grades. Yes, you don't need to worry about getting the best grades out there. Even if you get mediocre. It's like me, you can still do what you want to enjoy. Yes, he's listening. We're not saying don't work hard. No, this you don't have to juice of your any level. The name of your subject doesn't have to be where you end up at the end of universe. It's just a name. It doesn't it's not a plan, it's just your name. So for me I didn't I was predicted to do really well in my a levels and then didn't because of a number of reasons. So I ended up getting much lower grades than we thought I would, which was really upsetting at the time, and I didn't know if I'd get into the UNI or anything. But because of how much I've spoken to the lecturers and kind of made them aware of how much I loved the subject, it was a little easier when it came to actually still being able to go to Uni and still having those lecturers that knew how much I love the subject, and it was one of the most important things is definitely feeling comfortable with WHO's going to be, you know, managing the program that you're studying and how...

...willing they are to kind of support you in that. Because I went to the one university, I'm not naming names, I went to one and it was almost like I was fogged off. I didn't really feel comfortable there, so I just didn't put it down as an option and I ended up going to a UNI that I felt comfortable with the lecturers, I felt comfortable enough to live there and I've got a great plan set up for the future. So yeah, so what would you say to a first year that was struggling with this treats, because I think this is massive, especially this year with everything that's going on. I don't know. I don't know if open days are still going on or how they do. And they're doing virtual open days. I know I've just helped my little brother with his college application and they're doing virtual open days for some of them. So the important thing is to try and get as much information as you can, especially in times like this, even if you have to book people that have got their email addresses down and you want to ask them loads of questions or anything like that, you need to know what you need to know. So if you've got any questions or anything like that, is better to know as soon as possible, because then you've got the most processing time to figure out what is best for you. You have to put yourself first, no matter don't think of anyone else's expectations. If you don't think about what sixth form want you to do. You have to put yourself and what you want to do first and if you don't know, then just do something you enjoy, because it ultimately you'll end up being happy anyway. Yeah, I think. Yeah, it's a big part of it. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, my house mate loves her course, but because she chose a uned she didn't like, she had probably the worst first year because she didn't enjoy being there. She was far away from a family, she was far away from her partner. It just she didn't do well because of all that. So I think you have to find that balance. It's definitely an equal balance. Yeah, yeah, because I feel like a lot of people going into uni for the first time. They...

...feel like, Oh God, it's all it's academic things, I need to figure all this. I'll be it's not just that it becomes a lifestyle for the next three years. For you this is like but a lot of people this is the first step of you living and defensively yourself as well. So it was for me. So that's what I was saying earlier. How you got to balance it out. It's also take that into consideration while choosing what you want to do, but make sure ultimately you are happy with the place you're at, the people you're around or the lecturers and everything, and you're doing something you enjoy, even if it's not something you saw yourself doing, like Juliet story like its. Originally you wanted to do astro physics, didn't you? And now you've ended up do your marine biology. I'm not saying it. So I have to say it's been a very fun to you so far. Oh yeah, yeah, it really has. But this course it's we've got quite lucky because with the dive in everything and we do a lot of trips and things like that, and the people were with the lectures of all very helpful and a lot of the time the lectures are more like your friends then just teacher FA school. I definitely agree that. Your op with friends. Yeah, yeah, it's you can definitely reach out to people you've seen, you lecturers, because they are not they're not get they're not like teachers at college in it. Well, every went through college, went to a sexual but they're not like teachers at school. Not that. Yeah, not as form. You can reach out to them even on you can tweet them. There are like they'll happily answer from social media. Oh yeah, yeah, it's like we reviously put up a pole on social media about which is better between two types of fish and we got a bunch of lectures joining in on this. It didn't we done. Is a funny it's quite funny. But yeah, the friendly nature of it, it's not like it's a lot like it's a lot more in unprofessional basically, like they are obviously professionals,...

...but the relationship you build with them is very much more visual. It's not just they're a teacher in authority. It's much more mutual respect. Yeah, I agree. Like the sixth form I went to, they had we kind of had a good UN for more relationship with teachers. They were trying to be friendly, but I feel like even at university it feels a lot more friendly than that. Even, yeah, with the with a more like school teachers back then in sixth form, I'd say. So there's kind of in between, because they were trying to create this atmosphere like we have at university with all all the friendliness going around, but at the same time you still feel quite intimidated because they are teachers. Yeah, I get what you mean about university, because you can just be so open with everyone. Yeah, everyone is so helpful. It really they really are. Also another thing, what, personally, I was quite worried of was getting into uni with a bete because I didn't take a six form or an a level. I took a bit. Yeah, and I was really worried because I love the unit. Is the see to just take a levels and that's not always the case. You can potentially find something you enjoy doing with with a betech instead. It's like you don't. A lot of people seem to think you need to top of the top of the best to get into uni. Sorry, don't really need that to get into uni. Not, it's it's more open nowadays. It's it's more open for everyone to enjoy. Get where I went wrong, you know, because I did biology, chemistry and geography, all a levels, but they're really heavy a levels and I tried to balance it out by doing biology, chemistry and art, but my sixth form basically pressured me into choosing geography because it was more relevant to what I wanted to do and ultimately I wish I'd had that creative outlet to be able to do something else I enjoyed. Because of this, I agree with your as well as well. So we've all had very different experiences going into uni and deciding what...

...we want to do, and some of us, like me in China, would you say, we panics a lot halfway through it or we couldn't. Yeah, we thought we could get to where you actually wanted to do because we ended up changing a mind, and that's not always the case because there's a lot of flexibility to it. It's it's not as daunting and scary as it all seems to be. It's definitely not. The most daunting part is signing up for the application of what you want to do. Yeah, another thing I would like to mention as well. With our UNI, the University of whole, when we were picking our courses, the wasn't just showing the court like the course name and what it's about. They should the material in it and the the gay has percentages and of what the exams are. Gives percentages of what, like how many assignments you need to do, how many lectures are in it, so you can also be surround what you want to do. So I know that we've spoken about how we managed to get to Uni, but obviously I want to know where you guys are planning to go afterwards. So is there any like? Has Uni helped you make a set plan after or, like Mac said earlier, you've got the different avenues. What have you guys kind of decided to do? I feel like, sorry, I was going to say I feel like I would know. Its member, Juliet, should start this one off. Okay. Well, yeah, I I've mentioned I still don't know what I want to do after university. So I'm going to look into something interests me. So, whether I say in marine biology or not, I want to find something to do. Other I'm obviously going to be happy to do it. And because I'm I feel like there's a lot of pressure. Definitely. I'm getting a good job, even though you don't enjoy it, which I feel like shouldn't be bad. Yeah, definitely. I feel like you should go for something interests you.

Whether it's going to be good paying on our no. Yeah, you need to do something you enjoy, not just something what pays well. It's you don't want work to be work. You want works be fun, don't you? Definitely. Yeah. Yeah, and Sam, there's a lot of pressure on people our age and probably up to maybe even there late s that we have to be like that. The idea of career, married kids at thirty, it has a little bit gone out of the window, but I think there's still, especially after being uni, there's still a lot of pressure on for people to just be like, Oh, what, you've took a degree, whyn't you go a job yet? Yeah, yeah, yeah, a lot. Why? Don't even know? Why don't you know exactly where you want to go? which shouldn't be there. People should yeah, and to do what they want to do, because your s like there's a reason people say that the best years of your life, because you can play about with it. You have to find who you are in that next decade and if you change your minds, then you change your mind to change it and then change it again. It doesn't matter as long as ultimately you are where you want to be, even if you never thought ten years ago and you see yourself there, it doesn't matter. When you make decisions, make decisions based on your happiness and now you want to look back on it. Yeah, like I think I'll I'll still end up in conservation, because that is what I want to do for the rest of our life. It happily is. Yeah, I feel. I feel the same way. I don't think I'll just straight away leave UNI and get a job a because that's not how life works, you know, you it just doesn't. You go through hardships, you know, life happens. Yeah, but also because those are my twenties, you know, the stuff I want to do. Yeah, definitely. But yeah, I think I will end up in maybe even with science.

You know, conservation biology is is something I'm really passionate about. So I could end up, you know, doing a master's or a PhD. I don't know yet, but that's that's okay. Like Juliet said, she doesn't know. It's okay to not know. I've opened one door and now I'm in another room for the doors. That's what it is again. Yeah, it all comes down to multiple path choices you can take and you've got to create them yourself, like you form the way you want to go. Yeah, tell you. Yeah, when I got to uni, I think every scared of that room of doors because of like, Oh my God, I Donna, I don't know, I just find that one. Where's the right one? Yeah, everyone's in the same boat. Yeah, but I think now I've been through you, I'm not as scared of that room. I think. Yeah, see, with me, obviously I knew that I wanted to work with sharks, so when I went to my open days, I was like, Oh, yeah, well, what was sharks, and a lot of lecturers were like yeah, that you need to be open to everything. So I'd kind of by asked that room with all the dolts and I set myself on it, when actually I had to open up and look all the other doors, because I've met some amazing people that, even though it might not be where I want to go, I've still got the people there that I can talk to if I do decide I want to go into it. It's not just one path anymore, even though I am hoping to still work with shotoks, if I have to work with other animals or find it working with an enemies and things between, then it doesn't matter because I've learned to just kind of go with it and I'll end up somewhere that I'm happy with, which is, you know, ultimately what everyone wants, isn't it? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree with that. I feel like I want to end up doing a master's course vent show after you. I think I've always said to myself, I don't care how long I have to say an education, as long as I get to the place I want to be. Yeah, I said the same. HMM. Yeah, whereas I'm more hands hands on, I'd rather get out there and get work. I've...

...been through school, which was horrible, for college and our UNI. Yeah, I'm doing I'm I think I'm finished with education. But yeah, that's okay. So that was the our episode on Cheesy Science. I hope that did help some listeners to get through what they need to do and make made them realize more about choosing what you want to do. Then it just being such a daunting task. I know today's episode is not really been on the nature side of things, but we fought it was a strong subjects we need to talk about because we've all been through it, we've all felt what it's like and now we all have overcome that. Yeah, I think if anybody listening to this news, any first years or even people going into college, I think they should listen to this podcast, regardless of whether they want to go into science. I think the yeah, well, yeah, definitely, even if they don't, even if they don't carry on listening to the PODCAST, or they don't even go into science and they do something completely different. It's not just about the science behind it, it's about a young person making those decisions in general and trying to come through it and trying to just get as much advice as you can about it. So it really is a good thing to be able to share with you guys. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, you don't matter if you don't know what you do in if you don't know what you want to do, if you know exactly what you want to do, if you change your mind halfway through, it doesn't matter because you can create the path you want to go down. That was very deep, Max, very deep. We need we well, we need to go deep. You know, we are scuba divers, so he diving. Yeah, yeah, but yeah. I hope you guys enjoyed today's episode and stay tuned for more nature lab.

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