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Two passions, twice the contemplation...

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    Since being a child I have been intrigued by so many things in our wonderful world. During my 5 years at high school it became a lot clearer that many of interests fall under one field, Geography (politics, history, science etc.). However, there is one exception, which doesn’t fit in and that is technology. The idea of how technology comes together to create wonderful experiences for all kinds of people through software and hardware is something that I find interesting. Alas, came the dilemma, what do I want to do in life? What do I want to contribute? One thing I knew for sure was whatever path I chose, cutting edge research into new and emerging concepts and ideas is where I want to end up. The idea of helping people is something that I have a strong passion for, whether its finding ways to protect our planet, making technology more accessible through machine learning and artificial intelligence or finding ways to close the development gap.

    As with most young people, I’ve had people help or make decisions for me (from parents, teachers to friends). Applying to university was different, I felt alone. People gave advice but for the first time I was left to make a decision alone. Circumstances had led to a surprisingly disappointing set of A Levels but I didn’t let it put me down and I made the best of a bad situation. I decided that Computer Science would be the best option for me which would help me lead on to a career in research.

    I thought that was it but little did I know that my passion for Geography couldn’t be supressed. After a week of studying a very mundane Computer science course at university, I couldn’t help but peep over at an exceptional Geography department and course. I thought to myself have I made the wrong decision? Today, I guess I ‘conceded’ and switched to Geography. Part of me knew that programming and learning elements of Computer Science can be done independently as a hobby. But for some reason, I still have a weird mixed feeling of regret and frustration. I look over towards friends and other people who seem to have a clear cut path in front of them.

    Despite all of this, deep down, I know that the decision I have made will pay off in the long run simply because I’m doing a course that I will enjoy more. But a part of me seems to want some sort of reassurance. Have I closed the doors for a career in computing research? I am fairly certain that I want to follow up my Bachelors degree with a Masters in Computer Science (most Universities offer a course for students from a different discipline). Once I get to that stage I’m hoping that I know what field I want to do research in. Doing a Bachelor and Master degree in those fields, is it still possible to continue down a Computer Science path, by doing a PhD in the future? Likewise, for Geography!

    The decisions I make now and in the near future are going to define the rest of my life. I know that is not strictly true but if I am going to be realistic, it is the qualifications that I hold which are going to determine my career opportunities, how I will live my life and contribute to society.

    A teacher once told me, no matter what happens in life, the things that will never ever leave you are your education, passions and morals. I try to live by those words, but boy can that be hard sometimes!

    Any comments or advice you have will be greatly appreciated! I am also curious, people who have been/are in this situation, what’s your story?
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