Written by kdanceydowns
It is hard to believe that I am the same person I was a year ago, because so much has changed; not only my attitude towards certain things but my maturity level and the confidence I now have in myself as a person. My confidence to speak publicly has developed since starting my undergraduate course at Bournemouth University, but being a Student Rep for my course during my Master’s has encouraged me to speak up and be heard in meetings to represent my cohort. Presentations no longer make me sweat, as I have the confidence to stand up and present my opinions in front of others and answer any challenging questions that may follow. As a result of my new found confidence in public speaking, I have accepted the invitation to give a paper at a conference in Lampeter University in October this year, which is something I’d probably have run away from in the past.
I am a much more independent person since starting my Master’s, as one of the units we undertook was in Florence, Italy. As the Student Rep, I arranged the accommodation for us all and arranged my own way there and back. There was something very peaceful about travelling there and back alone and spending a few hours wondering by myself around the city on one of our days off. I strongly believe it is something everyone should do at one stage as it really enhances your self-awareness and being comfortable in your own company is important.
The beautiful Boboli Gardens in Florence.
The most stunning thing I saw in Florence – the Baptistery ceiling.
As well as Italy, I have seen areas of the United Kingdom I had never seen before such as Devon and Cornwall on field work and field trips as well as the surrounding areas of Bournemouth.
The breath-taking view from St Catherine’s Castle, Cornwall.
A selfie at St Mawes Castle, Cornwall (with my course mates in the background).
It is nice that I can now say I have been to some of these places and always relate them to happy memories spent with my course. Since starting my Master’s, I have gained some life-long friends and as a result, I am more culturally diversified as I now have a best friend from Cyprus, Canada and the US and I love them all. The additional relationship we all have with the staff teaching and accompanying us is of mutual respect and we love them too!
Academically, I believe I have more initiative since starting my Master’s, as it is a much more independent style of learning than the undergraduate degree. I don’t wait to be told what to do or when to start assignments, but take it upon myself to get organised and start the work as soon as possible. I also attend any extra sessions organised by lecturers so that I can maximise my learning time and opportunities to gain more information or ask for help. My approach is much more forward than it was before the Master’s started. I now email everyone I can for information I need or to ask for advice on a piece of research. Through doing this, I have found information that would have been lost to me otherwise and am still applying this outlook for the dissertation I am currently writing! I also find that I am more willing to ask questions, especially regarding assignment grades to better understand where I can improve.
Lastly, and perhaps obviously, I know more about my subject since starting the Master’s. I have always loved Maritime Archaeology but it is only through living and breathing it for the past year that I have realised just how much I want to be a part of this field for as long as I can. The course has opened my eyes to the expanse the field encompasses and I have had the opportunity to work in new and gloriously muddy environments such as the intertidal zone.
Excavating a World War 2 Motor Torpedo Boat in Salcombe, Devon.
Very windy day surveying at Redhorn Quay, Brand’s Bay, Poole, but still time for a selfie.
Tom and I loving life while surveying the wreck of the MA James in the intertidal mud in the Humber Estuary, Appledore, North Devon.
By Lowri Roberts