Opinion

Geography: Drop kick or decent subject?

13009865_1524706054505358_1056628537_oWhenever someone mentions ‘Geography’, usually images of memorizing flags and capital cities come to mind. Diagrams, colouring in, mountains and rocks. No-one ever forgets the rocks. Therefore, people generally classify Geography as ‘not a proper subject’, or a ‘filler’. You might even ask “Is it even a science?”. Before you go on, I am here to tell you about why we should stop ‘dissing’ Geography, and surprise you with how useful it can be.

For starters, let’s face it. The main reason that people take Geography is because of the field trips. There is no denying, that everyone – even those who actually like Geography are there for the time out of school, where you can play with rocks and splash in rivers. I honestly don’t see how people can say it is a waste of time! Jokes aside, field trips are a great way to learn and experience new things in a practical way, as well as spending time in some seriously beautiful places and doing cool things (you were probably jealous of your friends who got to go white water rafting).

Take a look at it this way. People choose Geo because they need a subject to fill up their timetable. You could take Art. You could take Drama. You could even take Hospitality or Design. But instead, you are recommended to, or have chosen yourself, the subject of Geography. Why? Obviously, because it is a useful and valuable subject. Geography does not only revolve around rocks, rivers and mountains. Instead, you are looking at how the world works. You are offered a taste of everything. Economics, sociology, politics, international relations, history, even chemistry and biology; and of course, good-old geology.

These skills, having knowledge of a bit of everything, are so useful today. Geography is a versatile subject that applies to all aspects of life, and how the world works. It complements and supports so many subjects in many different ways.

Geography prepares you for the ‘real world’. You learn invaluable skills that you would otherwise look past and not care about. Let’s say you are taking a walk in a forest. You get lost, and there is no signal for Google Maps. What do you do? Would you even know how to read a real map? Even taking geography for one year can give you the geographical knowledge that will put you above everyone else. I myself, take geography, and can honestly tell you that I learnt so much about the world without even stepping out of the classroom. We studied society in rural India, and how women were mistreated and punished by a shockingly common practice we might know as an ‘acid attack’. We learnt about different diseases, tribes in the Amazon and tourism in Kenya, among many other things. We look at why the world is the way it is, and that is a really valuable concept to have.

These days, it pays to be informed and aware of the things going on around us. That’s why geography is a subject that gets young people work. In all practicality, you could be a straight A, ‘Asian – 5’ student, but not have a single idea about anything outside of your house. In no way am I saying that when it comes to finding jobs, that won’t get you employed, but being a global citizen is something that employers are looking out for more and more. Many employers prize the versatility and usefulness of geography, especially the knowledge and skills that it provides. It is a dynamic and above all, constantly relevant subject.

Right. I didn’t go on a long winded rant to force you into taking geography, I’m simply trying to convince you that this subject deserves more credit and respect – especially amongst our fellow hard-working Macleans students. It is a purposeful and relevant subject that will change how you see the world. Now, let’s go play with some rocks!

And yes, Geography is a science.

Written By: Elena Pihera. Edited By: Tara Jackson

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